Lewis Hamilton took heart from his run to fourth place in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, ensuring that Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead only stands at 20 points.
Hamilton was resigned to eighth place on the starting grid in Spielberg after a gearbox change triggered a five-place penalty earlier in the week.
Hamilton ran fourth heading into the closing stages after a charge on the ultra-softs late on thanks to his reverse strategy, but failed to make a pass on Daniel Ricciardo, crossing the line 1.4 seconds further back.
“It’s been a difficult weekend, but I can take heart that I limited the damage to Sebastian in the points and that I went forward through the field,” Hamilton said after the race.
“The car was great today, I could push the entire race on the tires and I gave it absolutely everything out there.
“I really don’t think there was much left in the car at the end of the race, but I was probably a bit too kind in my fight with Daniel – and left him too much space. I won’t do that again.”
Finishing fourth, Hamilton lost more ground on F1 title rival Vettel in the championship standings, but is happy to have limited the damage of a rough weekend.
“We’ve slipped further behind Sebastian again, but there’s a long way to go. I’ll keep battling and I’ll never give up,” Hamilton said, before praising race-winning teammate Valtteri Bottas.
“Valtteri did a great job all weekend and thoroughly deserves the win. He’s just 15 points behind me now and he’s very much in this title fight.”
Hamilton’s attention now turns to his home grand prix at Silverstone next weekend where he hopes to kick-start a better run of form.
“I’m really looking forward to Silverstone. I’ve got a few days to put this weekend behind me, I can’t wait to see the home crowd again and start with a clean slate,” Hamilton said.
“I hope I can use Silverstone as a springboard for the second half of my season.”