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
Vettel: I had speed to win in Austin
Previous article

Vettel: I had speed to win in Austin

Next article

How Raikkonen finally ended his win drought

How Raikkonen finally ended his win drought
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021