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Hamilton aims for damage limitation

2014-06-21 20:43

DIFFICULT TASK AHEAD: Lewis Hamilton will have his work cut out for him as he starts the 2014 Austrian GP in ninth place. Image: AP/ Kerstin Joensson

SPIELBERG, Austria - Lewis Hamilton arrived at the 2014 Austrian GP with victory in his sights but damage limitation was the order of the day after Saturday's (June 21 2014) error-strewn qualifying.

Hamilton failed to set a lap time in the final shootout for pole. He is 22 points behind Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg after seven races despite having four wins to his team mate’s two.

His first flying lap of the Red Bull Ring was disallowed for exceeding the track limits, running wide at turn eight where drivers had been warned not to, and then he spun on the second after braking.

‘RECOVER FROM THIS LOSS’

Hamilton, who was fastest during Friday (June 20 2014) practice, will start in ninth place on the grid with Rosberg lining up third, behind the Mercedes-powered Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

He told reporters: "Sometimes you get it all together, sometimes you don't and today I didn't get the job done. I still need to look at the data to see exactly what happened. It's a long race and I need to try and recover as much as I can from this loss.

"The shot for the win will be very hard so I guess it's mainly a case of damage limitation. I will be doing all I can to put myself in a strong position and to get good points for the team."

Hamilton has had two retirements this season, while Rosberg has finished either first or second in all races, and can ill afford to let his ultra-consistent rival get even further ahead.

Rosberg also had his problems in a session that ended his three-race pole streak and Mercedes' run of starting every race this season from the top slot.

‘TOO MUCH UNDERSTEER’

Rosberg said: "I didn't get the second quick lap in Q3 (the final phase) when Lewis spun in front of me at Turn Two and I had to slow down for the yellow flags.

"It makes life harder that the Williams are starting in front of us and I must say well done to them - they have been quick all weekend and took their opportunity today. But I am still feeling confident for tomorrow.

"We have worked hard to find the best set-up for the race - my balance wasn't perfect in qualifying, with a bit too much understeer, but I hope it will settle down tomorrow."

2014 Austrian GP:

Qualifying
Third practice
Second practice
First practice results

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