Lewis Hamilton reveals why Max Verstappen overtook him so easily

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton reveals why Max Verstappen easily overtook him after the Safety Car period, and says his “hope started to fade a bit” when he saw George Russell switching to softs.

At the Dutch Grand Prix, after the Safety Car period, Lewis Hamilton found himself in P1 on older medium tyres, with Max Verstappen right behind him on fresh softs.

The Dutch driver then easily passed Lewis on the start-finish straight after the racer was restarted. Although the different tyre compounds made it impossible for Hamilton to hold off Verstappen, the Briton reveals there was another problem which made the pass even easier.

“I was late to get to the race mode,” Lewis revealed.

“But I was in race mode on the straight, but they were just fast on the straights.”

While Mercedes gambled by leaving Lewis on older mediums, his team-mate George Russell asked the team to switch to softs, which they did at the last minute.

The seven-time champion was asked after the race why he didn’t make the same switch.


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“That I don’t know. At the beginning of the day, we talked about taking the risk of going onto a one-stop.

“There was no discussion of if 20 laps to the end there was a safety car, that wasn’t a part of the discussion.

“Honestly, when that came up, I just followed the direction… I didn’t think anyone was going to stop.

“I drove past my pit box and saw the tyres were out and saw what was happening to George, in that moment I was like ‘wait a second’.

“So it was kind of then my hope started to fade a bit,” Hamilton concluded.

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