By Niall Clarke
- Lewis Hamilton finished 8.8 seconds behind Nico Rosberg
- Hamilton handed a five second penalty for pit lane infringement
- Button retires eight laps in to the race
Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead has been cut down to 10 points, as he was edged out by team-mate Nico Rosberg in the Austrian Grand Prix.
The British driver finished 3.8 seconds behind his title rival, but suffered a five second penalty for crossing the white line whilst exiting the pit lane.
Hamilton qualified in pole position on Saturday, but he soon found that advantage taken away from him. Rosberg got the jump on the championship leader in to turn one after a bad start by the British driver.
The German managed to maintain that lead in to turn two as it soon looked like we would see a Mercedes battle for first place.
But a big crash involving Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso forced the safety car to be brought out early.
The race resumed at full pace on lap seven, where Rosberg was quickest off the mark. The Mercedes driver built a 1.5 second lead over his team-mate quickly.
Whilst the title rivals were racing amongst themselves at the front of the grid, Jenson Button was struggling at the back. His McLaren was going slowly, and after cries of “Box this lap – retire the car,” from his team, Button found his race prematurely ended on lap eight.
Back at the front of the grid, Hamilton was struggling to keep up with the pace that Rosberg was setting. The German driver was edging further and further ahead.
Hamilton, not giving up the fight managed to reduce the lead momentarily, but yet again Rosberg extended his lead.
But the Brit’s troubles worsened around mid-way through the race when he cut the white line exiting the pits.
As a result, the championship leader was given a five second penalty all but ending any hopes of him beating his team-mate.
As the inevitability of a Rosberg win began to set in, Hamilton cruised to the finish line making sure he keeps his second place points. The German took the flag for a fairly straight forward victory, with Hamilton finishing 3.8 seconds behind.
With his lead now cut to ten points, Hamilton will head to the British grand prix in two weeks with some added pressure.
Can the British drivers have better fortune at Silverstone in a fortnight?