Hamilton: "Nothing I could do" to beat Verstappen in F1 sprint

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says "there was nothing I could do" to beat Max Verstappen in the inaugural Formula 1 sprint qualifying race at the British Grand Prix on Saturday.

F1 staged its first-ever 100km sprint race at Silverstone to determine the starting grid for Sunday's British GP, with Verstappen securing pole in the Red Bull.

Though Hamilton topped qualifying on Friday ahead of Verstappen, the Red Bull driver jumped him off the line in Saturday's 17-lap sprint and fended off an assault from the Mercedes on the opening tour.

Verstappen quickly put over two seconds between himself and Hamilton – though the gap shrunk to 1.4 seconds at the chequered flag as the former was told to avoid kerbs – to claim victory.

Scoring three points for the win, Verstappen has gained a point on Hamilton in their title battle, with the Mercedes driver admitting he has to be in front at the start on Sunday to stop Verstappen charging away again.

When asked if only losing a point in the title race was a positive he could take from the sprint, Hamilton replied: "Every point counts man, so I wouldn't say that.

"But I'm grateful to have finished and tomorrow we'll fight again, but I mean they're just so strong in the race. He was pulling away, there was nothing I could do to hold on to him. So, we've really got to try and be at the front somehow.

"They've [Red Bull] done a great job with their engine, their starts are really great this year, we've lost a bit of performance on our starts, so we've got to work a bit harder to try and improve that, because losing positions is never a great thing."

Read Also:

Commenting on the first sprint race, Hamilton says the weekend format shake-up has been "enjoyable" and hopes for more alternate formats in future.

"I don't know how it was to watch for the fans, I think this weekend's been awesome in terms of like yesterday was such a fun day to have qualifying on Friday, way more enjoyable," he added. "I don't know whether that was the most exciting race or not, but we should do more like that, maybe a different version of it in future, because this makes the weekend more enjoyable I think.

"But I need everyone to bring their energy again tomorrow."

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was one of four drivers to run the soft tyre in the race and finished third as Mercedes hoped the Finn would be able to jump Verstappen at the start.

"We tried to do something different and obviously the target was to try and get him at the start or in the first lap," Bottas said. "It didn't happen. I think he had a good start as well. In Turn 1 I was slightly blocked so I couldn't really use the momentum, but we tried, and in the end we still managed to keep the place with a soft tyre, even though there was some blistering.

"I think today shows that tomorrow is not gonna be easy. And if it's gonna be a bit warmer, then might as well see more issues so at least we're definitely aware and more open if anything will happen really."

shares
comments
Russell hit with British GP F1 grid penalty for Sainz clash
Previous article

Russell hit with British GP F1 grid penalty for Sainz clash

Next article

Formula 1 British Grand Prix – How to watch, start time & more

Formula 1 British Grand Prix – How to watch, start time & more
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022