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F1 NEWS 

Niki Lauda denies Lewis Hamilton is cracking amid F1 title fight

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes' Niki Lauda has brushed off suggestions that Lewis Hamilton is cracking under the pressure of an intense Formula 1 title fight after another costly qualifying mistake in Austria.

Hamilton lost a chance of pole position at the Red Bull Ring when he ran wide at the penultimate corner on his fastest Q3 lap and then spun early on his second attempt.

That left him ninth on the grid, although he was able to stage a brilliant recovery in the race and finish second, and came two weeks after he admitted to making a mess of his Canadian Grand Prix pole bid.

But with team-mate Nico Rosberg free to grab another win in Austria, Hamilton now faces a 29-point deficit in the title fight.

Despite the momentum being with Rosberg, Lauda believes that Hamilton will brush his frustrations aside and return stronger than ever at the British Grand Prix.

"Lewis will fight back, there is no worry on my case about this at all," explained Lauda, who is non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team.

"He is not in any way disturbed. He will keep fighting. Don't worry.

"He will be more motivated now going to Silverstone after this result and the points difference.

Lauda does not believe Hamilton's mistakes in qualifying are a sign of the pressure getting to him, and sees no reason to get involved in coaching the Briton.

"I don't need to coach him at all," said Lauda. "I've known him for a long time, and he is absolutely perfect in his head.

"There is nothing wrong. He is highly motivated. There is nothing in this respect at all. Even the qualifying mistake, it was a mistake and he made up for it in the race."

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