Lewis Hamilton believes the dramatic Austrian Grand Prix is evidence Formula 1’s critics are too quick to judge the sport following a backlash from the last round in France.

The reigning F1 world champion has accepted the sport is in a tough place after his comfortable victory at French Grand Prix was hit by criticism for a lack of track action during the race.

But seven days on, F1 witnessed an enthralling battle in Austria with Max Verstappen beating Charles Leclerc to claim the first non-Mercedes victory since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix, which the Red Bull driver also won, with both Mercedes drivers off the pace suffering in the hot conditions.

Despite being disappointed with his own race, as a mid-race front wing change and a struggling Mercedes car saw him finish down in fifth place, Hamilton pointed out F1’s critics were too quick to slam the sport and feels the current problems remain due to the current sporting and technical rules.

“You guys have been begging for racing for ages and you got it today,” Hamilton told the media after the Austrian Grand Prix. “I think ultimately what today shows is that you can’t just look at one weekend and complain, because that is what seems to happen.

“One weekend doesn’t go well and it’s like, ‘oh the racing is boring’. Then you have a race like this and it’s like, ‘oh, the racing is exciting’. Then the next race ‘it’s boring’. Just make up your minds and chill.”

Hamilton also says Mercedes were hamstrung by its own car and power unit cooling issues in the high temperatures at the Red Bull Ring – something he feels triggered by the current F1 rules.

“It’s a difficult formula today, it’s very technical and if we didn’t have our engine temperature issues today we would have been in that fight,” he explained.

“If I had the tyres to do it, had the pace to do it, I would have been in that fight but unfortunately with the ways these cars and rules are set, it means unfortunately we were in the wrong place.”

 

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