Hamilton unsure how Mercedes might have beaten Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton says he’s not sure what Mercedes could have done differently to beat Red Bull in Austin on Sunday after losing ground in the Formula 1 title race.

Listen to this article

Hamilton took the lead from championship rival Max Verstappen at Turn 1 on the opening lap, but was undercut after Red Bull opted to bring the Dutchman in first for an early pit stop.

Mercedes extended both Hamilton’s first and second stints in a bid to create a tyre delta that would allow him to recover the time lost to Verstappen.

Hamilton sat over eight seconds behind the RBR driver after his second stop, and used his fresher tyres to go over one second per lap quicker at one point, whittling the gap down to less than two seconds.

But Hamilton could not get close enough in the final few laps to try and overtake Verstappen, whose response ensured the gap stabilised and that he could hold on for victory.

The result means Hamilton now sits 12 points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ championship with five races to go this season.

“It was a fun race,” Hamilton said. “We had a good start, and he seemed to be quite close throughout on the medium tyre. Then obviously they stopped extremely early, and just tried to offset myself after that.

“I was hoping that would give us a chance to fight late on, but I think track position was key today.”

Hamilton felt that Red Bull had been “quicker on all tyres today”, saying its advantage in warmer conditions had “shone through this weekend”.

“I don’t know what we could have done differently,” Hamilton added. “I’ll sit down and talk with the team afterwards. I think the team did a great job today, and it was what we had.

“We’re going to at least the next two tracks which are very strong circuits for Red Bull, so it’s going to be tough for sure.”

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff did not think the team could have pitted Hamilton as early as Verstappen, but felt its hard-tyre pace was strong enough to have won the race.

“I think we could have won the race, of course, because we were in the lead and we had a very strong pace on the hard,” Wolff said.

“In a way, we need to retrace the weekend from Friday to Sunday, where did we misjudge, where did we get it wrong, what did we do well?

“There will be plenty of positive discussions about what to learn from this weekend.”

shares
comments
Down-to-canvas hards left Red Bull doubtful of Verstappen win
Previous article

Down-to-canvas hards left Red Bull doubtful of Verstappen win

Next article

Alonso baffled by ‘strange’ FIA call on Raikkonen move

Alonso baffled by ‘strange’ FIA call on Raikkonen move
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Prime

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Prime

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career draws to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022
The omen Ferrari hopes to continue by ending its Abu Dhabi jinx Prime

The omen Ferrari hopes to continue by ending its Abu Dhabi jinx

It’s been an unlucky 13 for Ferrari in Abu Dhabi since the first Formula 1 race was held there in 2009. But if the Scuderia can finally win at the Yas Marina Circuit in 2022, then BEN EDWARDS feels this could bode well for even greater success in 2023

Formula 1
Nov 17, 2022