Hamilton: Bottas "left the door open" to Verstappen in F1 Mexico GP start

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas "left the door open" for Max Verstappen to pass at the start of the Mexican Grand Prix.

Hamilton: Bottas "left the door open" to Verstappen in F1 Mexico GP start

Polesitter Bottas and Hamilton had locked out the front row for Mercedes, with the team hoping to use that opportunity to exert control on the Mexico City race early on.

The two were three-wide heading into the first corner with Verstappen, who swept around the outside and claimed the lead of the race with Hamilton in pursuit - while Bottas was left facing the opposite direction after contact with a late-braking Daniel Ricciardo precipitated a spin.

Hamilton said after the race that he was trying to protect his side of the circuit, but felt that Bottas had not demonstrated the same tactic at the start.

"I had envisaged it differently, naturally, in the sense that maybe Valtteri had got a better start and I would have tried to get into his tow," Hamilton explained.

"But I was alongside him which was good, and then I was just covering my side of the track trying to make sure that no-one could come up the inside.

"So I was trying to keep whichever Red Bull I could see in my mirror behind, and I thought Valtteri would be doing the same.

"But obviously, he left the door open for Max, and Max was on the racing line so did a mega job braking into Turn 1.

"Because I was on the inside on the dirt, there was no hope for me."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said that he could understand Bottas' position owing to the lack of vision from the mirrors, but felt that his two cars could have warded off an immediate threat from Verstappen at the start.

Verstappen was able to maintain the lead during the following safety-car period, produced by the incident involving Mick Schumacher and Yuki Tsunoda, who had both ended up pincering Esteban Ocon at Turn 2.

"These cars are very difficult to judge from the mirrors, what is actually happening behind you." Wolff said.

"But I think if they would have been more to the left he wouldn't have passed, he would have been blocked."

Read Also:

Bottas explained his misfortune at the first corner, which later snowballed into a miserable race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in which he was stuck behind Ricciardo for the majority of the race, during which a slow pitstop ended his hopes of netting any consolatory points.

"The start was OK, not too bad, but Verstappen got a bit of a tow and he braked really late." Bottas told Sky F1.

"But then suddenly at the apex at Turn 1 I think Daniel hit me in the rear and right there I spun I couldn’t do anything and then after that the race was tricky to make progress.

"I was too close to cars and managing engine and brakes so I could manage it until I was getting too close then it was not easy."

Additional reporting by Luke Smith

shares
comments

Related video

Perez: Missing out on Red Bull 1-2 at Mexican GP "a bit of a shame"
Previous article

Perez: Missing out on Red Bull 1-2 at Mexican GP "a bit of a shame"

Next article

Abu Dhabi GP bosses reveal first images of F1 track changes

Abu Dhabi GP bosses reveal first images of F1 track changes
Load comments
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022