Lewis Hamilton: “And I was like ‘you idiot’ to myself”

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

Lewis Hamilton comments on Max Verstappen overtaking him in the opening stages of the Portuguese Grand Prix, and explains how he got his position back.

At the start of the Portuguese Grand Prix a safety car was deployed due to a collision between Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi. After the race resumed, Max Verstappen seemed to catch Hamilton by surprise and overtake him. The Briton explains what preceded the move.

“It was interesting,” said Hamilton in the post-race press conference.

“Because I was naturally focusing on Valtteri [Bottas] and literally, just for a split second, I looked in my mirror just to see where Max was and in that split second, that’s when Valtteri went.

“And so, I lost out to Valtteri and that wasn’t great! Then, I was in Valtteri’s tow, and [Verstappen] was about to pull out, and I pulled out and gave [him] Valtteri’s tow.

“And I was like ‘you idiot’ to myself. Then, after that, being behind [these] two – what a great track, it enabled us to fight close in that first stint, I think that’s really what the fans want.

“That’s definitely what I want from a racing point of view. This track was really great because you can have different lines at certain corners – a bit like Austin. So, it was really awesome.”

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On lap 11, Lewis managed to retake P2 from Verstappen, then on lap 20 he passed Bottas to get to P1 and he ultimately won the race.

“I just had to gather my thoughts and make a couple of tweaks in terms of how I was driving and then start on the attack again.

“And once I did, I got closer, and Max had a small mistake which then put me in a nice position…”

“And then with Valtteri, I had to make the move early on before the tyres were destroyed. I managed to just get him at Turn 1. Just right on the limit. Great race.”

After winning the Portuguese Grand Prix Lewis solidified his lead in the championship and now stands 7 points ahead of Max Verstappen.

“I saw that he had gone in for the fastest lap and got it, but obviously Valtteri ended up with it at the end [after Verstappen’s faster lap was deleted for exceeding track limits].

“As you can see, it’s a great fight between Mercedes and Red Bull, and I’m sure also down the field, and I think it’s clear that we just have to continue… we’re going to be pushing each other right to the last race.

“We’re going to be sick of each other at the end, I would imagine! Or at least sick of racing because there’s so many races,” joked the seven-time champion.

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