Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes had one of their toughest races during the United States Grand Prix, as the seven-time world champion had to settle for a second-place finish in Austin, handing race winner Max Verstappen a 12 point lead heading to Mexico City in two weeks’ time.
Despite Hamilton grabbing the lead early on from the polesitter Verstappen, Red Bull crucially pitted the 24-year-old earlier than Hamilton during their first stint for a fresh pair of hard tyres, with Mercedes opting to bring Hamilton in a few laps later.
Red Bull opted for a similar tactic during the second pitstop window too, as Verstappen and Red Bull chose to blink first again, which could have handed the advantage to Hamilton, who could then pit later and have fresher tyres come the end of the race.
But despite a strong and ferocious fightback, the seven-time world ran out of laps and ultimately had to settle for second in front of a huge American crowd at the Circuit of the Americas.
After the race, Hamilton said: “Firstly, congratulations to Max he did a great job today.
“It was such a, such a tough race, got a good start, gave it absolutely everything but at the end of the day they just had the upper hand this weekend, and we couldn’t really ask for more, but a big, big thank you to my team for great pitstops great hard work throughout the weekend.
“And what an amazing crowd, to perform in front of you guys, it’s such an honour.”