Hamilton gave Verstappen "way too much space"

Lewis Hamilton has admitted he gave Max Verstappen "way too much space" in his failed bid to pass his Formula 1 rival for second in the United States Grand Prix.

Hamilton gave Verstappen "way too much space"

Hamilton's two-stop strategy meant he was forced to catch back up to Verstappen and Ferrari's eventual race winner Kimi Raikkonen and mount a late attack.

Verstappen ran wide exiting the hairpin with just over two laps to go, which allowed Hamilton alongside and led to the two drivers battling wheel-to-wheel before Hamilton eventually ran wide off-track the fast double-right trying to overtake on the outside.

"I had to be very, very careful how I navigated around them," Hamilton said of racing Raikkonen and Verstappen while trying, unsuccessfully, to clinch the 2018 F1 title.

"Championships are not won by fighting and making silly mistakes.

"I went through that corner, I gave him way too much space just to be sure that I didn't get clipped, for example, didn't get taken out because I didn't know if you [Verstappen] would understeer into me or could be aggressive."

Hamilton said that if he was fighting his title rival Sebastian Vettel in that moment then he "would have been a lot more tighter and more aggressive".

Raikkonen, who Hamilton went wheel-to-wheel with in the first stint, was seeking a first victory in five and a half years while Verstappen sniffed a rare victory shot having started the race down in 18th.

Hamilton said he had to treat the situation differently, especially as title rival Vettel was behind him and poised to lose even further ground.

"These other guys they want to win the race probably just as much as me but they are willing to go and risk it for the biscuit," said Hamilton.

"I don't need to be in that mindset. I just need to accumulate points and think of the long game.

"There's a part inside me that wants to take all the risks to get the win but there's the other side of me that wants to get the job done.

"If I'd been aggressive with Max for example, Seb could have finished third or second and I could have lost ground today so I think it was good decision making."

Verstappen explained he was left vulnerable to attack because he was so close to Raikkonen.

"I was struggling a bit more with the tyres, so then Lewis came close and we had a few corners where I had to close the door a little bit," said Verstappen.

"Then he tried around the outside, but I was on the edge already in the fast corners so I was just sliding a lot."

When Hamilton suggested he had given Verstappen too much space, Verstappen replied: "I think you could have squeezed a bit more, yeah!"

shares
comments
Raikkonen takes long-awaited win, Hamilton made to wait for F1 title

Previous article

Raikkonen takes long-awaited win, Hamilton made to wait for F1 title

Next article

How Raikkonen finally ended his win drought

How Raikkonen finally ended his win drought
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021