Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have conveyed surprise at the W14’s lack of pace through the course of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Mercedes picked up only a single point in Sprint, with Russell eighth, and the team’s struggles continued through Sunday’s race.

Hamilton slipped to seventh, having incurred a time penalty for exceeding track limits, while Russell followed home his team-mate in eighth place.

The result came after a successive podium finishes for Hamilton in Spain and Canada.

“It was not the greatest of days,” said Hamilton. “We weren’t expecting to be as slow as we were and our performance this weekend was a surprise.

“We don’t have the answer as to why just yet, but this track has highlighted several areas of improvement we need to focus on.

“We knew we didn’t have a strong rear-end this weekend, so we took out a lot of front-wing to maintain the balance. I was really struggling into certain corners, particularly Turn 10, and sliding, which I couldn’t do anything about it.

“That is why I was struggling with track limits. We added some front-wing at both stops and the car began to come back to us, but it was still a challenge.”

Russell agreed that Mercedes’ pace “was not as we expected” and that he had been “hoping for a little bit more from the grand prix.

“I am sure we will go away and get to the bottom of our performance here. We have the same car that we had in Barcelona where we were flying so we need to understand what went wrong on our side.

“The car certainly doesn’t feel how we want it to at the moment. It’s moving around a lot, and it felt a little bit worse this weekend than at other circuits; the pace was substantially worse though, so we need to get to the bottom of that.”

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