Hamilton says he tried close the gap to Verstappen at one point in Mexico

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton says at one point in the Mexican Grand Prix, he thought: “Okay, I think I’ve saved enough, let me see if I can try and close this gap to Max.”

At the Mexican Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton put in a brilliant performance and managed to finish in P2, behind Max Verstappen.

Mercedes also opted for a bold strategy which required Lewis to make his medium tyres last for half of race distance.

After the race, when asked if he was just conserving his tyres in his final stint, or if he attempted to get closed to Verstappen, Lewis said he definitely tried to close the gap at one point.

“Yeah, for sure,” the Briton said.

“I could have pushed a little bit harder but I did at one time try to see, okay, I think I’ve saved enough, let me see if I can try and close this gap to Max.

“I think it was like 10 laps to go, and I did a 22.0 and Max did a 21.9. I was like, ah, I’ll leave it. He was just cruising at 21.9. So yeah, so I thought I’d leave it there.

“And also, I had to be cautious, just careful because obviously my tyres… If I really pushed them for the last 10 laps, they probably would have opened up, and who knows, maybe Charles would have caught me up.

“So, I just had to be cautious with that.”

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Lewis also explained how he went about overtaking Charles Leclerc for P2, who was on hard tyres at the time.

“Yeah, honestly, this weekend, we’ve been very, very slow on the straight.

“In general, we’ve were quite draggy on the straights more often than not but this weekend, you know, like yesterday, we were losing like two-and-a-half tenths just into Turn 1 before we even start braking.

“So, these guys were very slippery on the straights so, trying to follow closely through Turns 16 and 17 was, was really the only way that I could get close enough and have an opportunity to make the DRS impactful.

“And yeah, finally, I pressed every button on the steering wheel, maximum power. And I didn’t know how far across he was going to go.

“But split second decision, I decided to go to the right. There’s just enough space there but Charles was really fair.

“But yeah, great racing,” Hamilton concluded.

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