Hamilton booed after dramatic victory

Source:Reuters Published: 2016/7/4 0:03:01

Controversial last-lap crash cuts leader Rosberg’s advantage

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after the Austria Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Lewis Hamilton was booed on the ­podium after a last-lap collision with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg ­handed the triple Formula One world champion a dramatic first Austrian Grand Prix victory on Sunday.

Championship leader Rosberg, who had been in front with Hamilton in his slipstream, nursed his damaged car over the line for fourth place with his advantage cut to 11 points after nine of 21 rounds.

"I am gutted, it's unbelievable," said the German, accusing Hamilton of turning in and causing the accident that broke his front wing.

Hamilton disagreed.

"I was on the outside, it wasn't me that had the crash," the Briton said over the team radio. Hamilton now has three wins to Rosberg's five this season.

The stewards appeared to back that up by opening an investigation into ­Rosberg's actions.

The German was summoned to answer charges of causing a collision and failing to stop with a seriously damaged car.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff described the collision as "brainless," without singling out either of his drivers for blame.

The team revealed Rosberg had ­suffered a problem with his brake-by-wire system, which went into "passive mode" at the end of the penultimate lap as Hamilton closed in.

The crowd, small in comparison to the previous two years with rows of empty seats in the grandstands, made their disapproval evident with whistles and boos as Hamilton was interviewed on the podium.

"That's not my problem, it's their problem," the surprised Briton, who started on pole, shrugged when asked about the noise.

"I left a lot of room on the inside, and I guess he locked up and crashed into me. I think he had a problem with his brakes potentially. I'm here to win. That's all."

Dutch teenager Max ­Verstappen ­finished second for Red Bull at their home track with Ferrari's Kimi ­Raikkonen third, after teammate Sebastian Vettel crashed out on his 29th birthday when a rear tire exploded.

Hamilton's victory was the 250th in F1 by a British driver since the ­championship started in 1950 and the 46th of his career.

"What an incredible race," said Hamilton, amid the jeers. "It was tough. Apart from this [the crowd reaction], I love it here. I don't know what that's about."

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull with Britain's Jenson ­Button sixth for McLaren.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean was seventh in a Haas ahead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz in a Toro Rosso and Finland's Valtteri Bottas for Williams.

German rookie Pascal Wehrlein scored his first point in F1, and his ­Manor team's first of the season, with a remarkable 10th.

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