Formula One

Hamilton plays down loss

Lewis Hamilton.   | Photo Credit: POOL

Mercedes’ seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton played down the pain of his latest defeat by Formula One leader Max Verstappen in France on Sunday and said the race was a real reflection of Red Bull’s pace.

The Briton had won at Le Castellet in 2018 and 2019, with no race last year due to COVID-19, but his hopes of a hat-trick ended when resurgent Red Bull out-smarted the champion on strategy.

The seventh race of the season was a reversal of the Spanish Grand Prix in May when Hamilton hunted down Verstappen, who said then that he felt like a sitting duck, in the closing laps to win.

This time it was the champion who was on the receiving end as Verstappen made a second pitstop and used his fresher tyres to make up the time and overhaul Hamilton on the penultimate lap.

Asked how gut-wrenching the feeling had been, Hamilton —now 12 points behind his Dutch rival —said it had not been at all.

“I think we did a great job today and it just didn’t work out,” he added.

“I’m not massively disappointed. I think I did the best job I could today. Of course, there were things we could probably have done slightly better but overall they have been quicker than us all weekend.

“It’s a true reflection of the pace they have.”

“If we look in hindsight for sure if we’d have stopped earlier, before they stopped and come out ahead and just gone onto a two stop, we probably could have won the race,” he said.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 12:27:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/formula-one/hamilton-plays-down-loss/article34894839.ece

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