Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both crashed out in Q3 to spurn Mercedes’ chances of a first F1 2022 pole position; Toto Wolff defends drivers and reacts to cheers from Austrian GP crowd; watch the Sprint live on Saturday on Sky Sports F1 at 3.30pm

Last Updated: 09/07/22 10:58am

Lewis Hamilton feels incredibly disappointed after crashing out in Q3, but believes there is hope in tomorrow's Sprint at the Austrian GP

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Lewis Hamilton feels incredibly disappointed after crashing out in Q3, but believes there is hope in tomorrow’s Sprint at the Austrian GP

Lewis Hamilton feels incredibly disappointed after crashing out in Q3, but believes there is hope in tomorrow’s Sprint at the Austrian GP

Lewis Hamilton said he was “incredibly disappointed” in himself after his crash in Austrian GP qualifying as Mercedes suffered two shunts in a matter of minutes to bring a frustrating end to what appeared a promising Friday.

Hamilton and team-mate George Russell – having both been in contention for the top positions, if not pole, in qualifying – both crashed out in the final Q3 portion to end Mercedes’ hopes.

Hamilton went off and it the barriers at Turn 7, and straight after that red flag Russell spun off at the final corner.

In a small boost ahead of Saturday’s Sprint – which is live on Sky Sports F1 at 3.30pm – Hamilton and Russell have both moved up a place on the grid to ninth and fourth respectively after Sergio Perez’s penalty.

“I’m so sorry, guys,” said Hamilton on team radio before he got out of the car and walked away.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had a Q3 to forget, with both Mercedes drivers going into the safety barriers ahead of Saturday's Sprint

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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had a Q3 to forget, with both Mercedes drivers going into the safety barriers ahead of Saturday’s Sprint

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had a Q3 to forget, with both Mercedes drivers going into the safety barriers ahead of Saturday’s Sprint

“It was a big hit but I am OK,” he added to Sky Sports F1 afterwards.

“I am incredibly disappointed in myself ultimately and so sorry to the team who worked so hard to put this car together and I never like to bring it back damaged.

“I don’t have an answer. I lost the back end and that was that.”

Hamilton said Mercedes were “fighting for the top three” on Friday, and he had been on pace with eventual pole-sitter Max Verstappen and rival Charles Leclerc through the shootout for the Sprint.

Johnny Herbert was at the SkyPad to analyse how the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both crashed out of Q3 in Austria

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Johnny Herbert was at the SkyPad to analyse how the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both crashed out of Q3 in Austria

Johnny Herbert was at the SkyPad to analyse how the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both crashed out of Q3 in Austria

“I am encouraged for sure,” added Hamilton. “I am encouraged of course to see our performance. We weren’t expecting for it to be as close as that today.

“That is a huge positive from the team but I am really quite far back [for the Sprint] so I don’t know what is possible from there. Hopefully I can make up for some lost time.”

Hamilton’s crash occurred on his third flying lap of Q3 after backing out of his first two efforts, and he was on a personal best before the uncharacteristic mistake.

Russell concerned about car | Merc defend drivers

Russell said Mercedes’ qualifying was their best in terms of pace, worst in terms of outcome”. He was a tenth up on his lap before his spin and he added he “could have been P4 for sure”.

“It’s definitely positive signs,” Russell, who qualified fifth but rises to fifth thanks to Perez’s breach, said. “We know we’ve brought things to the car.

“Lewis was absolutely flying today, I think I probably went in the wrong direction with my setup for qualifying.”

George Russell reflects on a disappointing day for Mercedes as he and Lewis Hamilton crash out in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix

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George Russell reflects on a disappointing day for Mercedes as he and Lewis Hamilton crash out in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix

George Russell reflects on a disappointing day for Mercedes as he and Lewis Hamilton crash out in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix

But Russell also admitted: “I’m OK physically… I’m just concerned about the car for tomorrow.”

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Toto Wolff defended his drivers.

“These two should never beat themselves up because of this situation – crashing out,” the Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said.

“We’ve given them a car that wasn’t on par for 10 races in a row and now we’re starting to come to terms and drive in front, it can happen that you just lose the car.

“I’d rather have a fast car and a qualifying like this than not having the pace to be in the top four.”

Wolff unhappy with crowd cheers after Hamilton crash

Toto Wolff is optimistic with Mercedes' performance despite both cars crashing out in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix

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Toto Wolff is optimistic with Mercedes’ performance despite both cars crashing out in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix

Toto Wolff is optimistic with Mercedes’ performance despite both cars crashing out in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix

Hamilton’s crash was met with cheering from a partisan Spielberg crowd, many of whom are coated in orange in support of Verstappen. The atmosphere is a far cry from last weekend’s British GP, where it was Verstappen who was booed when giving an interview after qualifying.

“We just need to speak more to the fans that cheering when a car is in the wall or booing for a driver when they give an interview, it’s not what we would do with our competitor,” said Wolff.

“Even though you can think we would have some animosity out there. So, nobody should actually do it. Collectively with F1, with you guys, we need to educate people.”

Sky Sports F1 schedule for the rest of the Austrian GP

Saturday

9.30am: F3 Sprint

11am: Austrian GP Practice Two (session begins 11.30am)

2.30pm: Austrian GP Sprint Build-up

3.30pm: Austrian GP Sprint

4.50pm: F2 Sprint

Sunday

7.30am: F3 Feature Race

9am: F2 Feature Race

12.30am: Grand Prix Sunday: Austrian GP Build-up

2pm: The Austrian Grand Prix

4pm: Chequered Flag: Austrian GP Reaction

5pm: Ted’s Notebook