Hamilton says he doesn’t “have any concerns” over Verstappen

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

After a collision with Max Verstappen at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton says “it’s natural when you have the success”, that you “become a bit of a target”.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, which earned the Dutch driver a five-second penalty.

When asked about the collision after the race, Lewis didn’t have a lot of comments.

“What can I say, you know how it is with Max,” the Briton said.

Afterwards, at the post-race press conference, Lewis was asked if he thinks Verstappen has a “particular problem” with him, and if he is concerned about this from a safety perspective.

“I’m not concerned. Yeah, don’t have any concerns, I think. I think it’s natural when you have the success and the numbers on your chest, that you become a bit of a target.

“But it’s okay. It’s nothing that I have not dealt with before.”

Lewis then revealed that after the collision he feared that his car had sustained damage.

“For me, all I thought in that moment was that I thought the car would have to retire. Because I felt something, the rear wasn’t feeling the same after that.

“And for me, it was like, I was going to lose the team the one-two. And so like, all I could think of.

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“So I was driving over across the grass, back onto the track and all I could think of was how can I get back to giving the team that incredible result.

“So just for me, it’s kind of, again, not how you fall, it’s how you get back up. And I’m proud of the job we’ve all done and huge congratulations to George.”

Asked if he knows the extent of the damage his car took, Lewis explained:

“Well, yesterday [in the sprint race] there was a lot of damage from all the debris of the cars colliding ahead of me so I had a bunch of different broken bits on the car and I had lost quite a bit of downforce yesterday.

“But today, it was difficult to say. I couldn’t really see where on the car where we had touched.

“I definitely thought that I had a puncture on my right rear when I got back on track and I could definitely feel the rear didn’t feel as stable as it had done prior to that, but I managed to make changes on my steering wheel and kind of reconfigured the balance a little bit.

“But I think there’s something perhaps not 100% perfect, but we still got the one-two,” Hamilton concluded.

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