Toto Wolff blasts Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen extended his championship lead, while Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated with penalties.

Lewis Hamilton faced criticism from Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff for his complaints during the Austrian Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen secured his seventh victory of the season.

Verstappen comfortably secured the win in Austria, further extending his championship lead over teammate Sergio Perez by 81 points, despite an early challenge from Ferrari. 

Notably, Verstappen managed to avoid penalties for track limits violations, unlike several of his competitors, including Hamilton.

Hamilton was one of six drivers who received a five-second penalty for crossing the track’s white lines, particularly at turn 10 where most infractions occurred. 

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Later, Hamilton’s penalty was increased to ten seconds, resulting in his drop from seventh to eighth place in the race standings.

Hamilton’s compatriot, Lando Norris, spent the initial laps expressing frustration about Hamilton’s pushing of the limits. 

Norris finally saw his wish fulfilled during a battle for fourth place. Following his own penalty, Hamilton continued to criticize other drivers, particularly Red Bull’s Perez.

“Perez is going off at turn 10, if they’re noting everyone they might as well know,” Hamilton remarked. 

Article continues below

He further added, “Perez off again, has he got a penalty yet? This guy’s going off every single time!”

Responding to Hamilton’s struggles, Wolff made a rare in-race appearance on team radio, urging Hamilton to keep the car on track, stating, “Lewis, the car is bad, we know. Please drive it.”

Hamilton acknowledged the team’s efforts, saying, “Well done guys today, great job with the pitstops, sorry I couldn’t get any higher, but the car was really hard to drive today.”

In a post-race development, Hamilton and seven other drivers received penalties, announced by the FIA five hours after the race’s conclusion. 

Sainz’s penalty resulted in him dropping two places to sixth, promoting Norris to fourth and Alonso to fifth. 

READ: Max Verstappen demands Red Bull investigation

Russell took Hamilton’s seventh spot in the official classification.

Meanwhile, Verstappen experienced an entirely different outcome, describing his car as being “on fire” after securing his seventh win of the season. 

He achieved a clean sweep of the extended Austrian Grand Prix weekend, topping practice, qualifying, sprint qualifying, the sprint race, and the feature race.