Lewis Hamilton drove one of the best races of his life at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He started from P10 and managed to beat Max Verstappen who started from P2.
It was not without incident, though. When Hamilton and Verstappen went side-by-side on Turn 4 of Lap 48 of the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Dutch driver decided to go wide a push Hamilton off the track.
The stewards noted the incident, but later decided that no action will be taken against Verstappen.
At the post race press conference the Briton was asked to give his perspective on the battle.
“Yeah, it was tough,” Hamilton said.
“In front of me he generally could match my pace. I would say particularly or more so in the last sector.
“It was very, very difficult to follow in the last sector and to get as good an exit as he did in Turn 12. So I kept coming up the straight and it wasn’t that easy to be in his DRS.
“And even if I was in the DRS zone it was a bit too far away. But I just kept trying, just kept pushing. Obviously I had that one chance into Turn 4 but I couldn’t hold it. We… Yeah, it didn’t work out.
“Then I saw I had that experience [Verstappen pushing him wide] and just made sure that I didn’t make that mistake again.
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“But I was adamant and determined to get back into that position. Yeah, it was fine. This is what a World Championship battle should look like.”
Lewis also gave further comments on the Lap 48 incident.
“In the heat of the moment, it doesn’t… I don’t really know. I think I was ahead initially, and I think he held his ground and we both ran out of road. Well, I think he was running out of road, so I obviously had to avoid to go out of road.
“But I mean, I didn’t think too much of it and obviously I’ll have to watch the replay, but it’s hard battling and wouldn’t expect anything less really. We didn’t touch wheels, which is good.”
The Briton then explained how he modified his approach to be able to overtake Vestappen several laps later.
“I got into Turn 1, I got to kind-of dummy him as such into Turn 1. I was either going to dive super-late into Turn 1, so then he had to block, and I got to be able to position the car correctly through Turns 1 and 2, and I already knew through Three that I would have a far better slingshot past him because I was closer.
“At that point, I just knew I was ahead going into the braking zone, so yeah. And after that it was really trying to keep him out of my DRS, which wasn’t too difficult, because I guess it’s hard to follow behind.
“It’s just the first one lap, I think the first lap, or the first lap he got around, just making sure, but it was fine after that,” concluded the seven-time champion.