Lewis Hamilton admits concern about spare parts after costly Austria crash

George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and eighth respectively for Mercedes at the Austrian sprint race.

Sir Lewis Hamilton had nowhere to go at the start of the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race on Saturday as contact with Pierre Gasly hindered his afternoon.

Having crashed in qualifying on Friday, the seven-time champion qualified in ninth, but got a poor start as 10th-placed Gasly and 11th-placed Alex Albon came up alongside him.

The three drivers converged onto the same bit of racetrack, leading to contact between Hamilton and Gasly, which sent the Frenchman spinning off at Turn One.

The Briton affirmed that there was nothing more he could have done to avoid the collision.

READ: Mercedes boss defends Lewis Hamilton in Austria

“I had two cars come around me into Turn One and move across,” he told Sky Sports after the sprint.

“There’s nowhere I could really go, so unfortunate – I don’t think I could have done anything.

“Then I got the same thing in Turn Three, so just grateful to get around the first lap and then after that, just trying to catch up because it was quite slow on the straights so you kind of stay in the same place.”

Hamilton would eventually end the race eighth after a lengthy battle with the Haas of Mick Schumacher, who was being helped along by the slipstream from his team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

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The Mercedes was often out-dragged on the straight on the exit of Turn Three onto the DRS straight, but Hamilton eventually got past the German.

“I didn’t learn anything necessarily in the race except it was slower than the Haas, but I’ve got one now in front of me, not two,” explained the 37-year-old.

“We’ve got to wait until we get out of the DRS train to try and reposition our car but give it everything we can tomorrow.”

Russell also crashed on Friday, but started fourth after Sergio Perez was given a penalty for exceeding track limits in Q2.

The Mexican recovered to fifth, and Russell comfortably kept Perez at bay, finishing a considerable distance behind winner Max Verstappen and the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

It was therefore a bit of a lonely race for the 24-year-old.

READ: 2022 Austrian GP: Stewards reach verdict regarding George Russell penalty

“I spent most of my race watching the TV screens around the track, watching the battling going on,” added Russell.

“It was a bit of a long race, we didn’t expect to have the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari but we were probably a bit further behind than we had anticipated.

“But the team did an amazing job to get both cars on track, and yesterday that was my biggest concern – we are not flush for loads of spare parts, as everyone on this grid. 

“And obviously the mistake was one thing but the spares were another, but they did a great job to repair it.”

Verstappen’s win on Saturday now means that he taken P1 in four of the first five sprint races in Formula 1.