Valtteri Bottas took the win at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday and with the second place going to his championship contender Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton might have thought that his fourth was just not enough in a title battle he now reckons is a triple-way battle. He has left Austria having to see himself on the back foot as well as giving gap to the lead.
The Finn led from pole to take a superlative win, which was only the second of his career, With a piece of precise driving that he is famous for, he has proved just how calm and mature he can be when put under pressure. In a similar fashion to his first win in Russia, he had to keep the four-times world champion Vettel at bay to take the flag, amidst dealing with high blistering on his left rear tyre at the closing stages of the race that allowed the German to climb all over his back on the last laps.
It was a perfect weekend for Bottas as he did all the hard work. He had a brilliant getaway, timed to perfection that Vettel has to protest that it was a jump start after the race and long after the stewards decided it to be legal. He put a big gap to the German and he maintained it throughout the race until the tyre wear left him struggling at the end. He took the flag just 0.6 seconds clear, but as at Sochi he was just dealing good with tough conditions.
Hamilton started from eighth on the grid after enduring a five-place penalty for a gearbox change before qualifying. He came through the pack but his alternative tyre strategy did not reap benefits and he was unable to pass the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo in third in the closing laps and had to contend with fourth position.