Hamilton unsure what Mercedes could have done to beat Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton says he is not sure what Mercedes could have done differently to beat Red Bull in Austin on Sunday after losing ground in the Formula 1 title race.

Hamilton unsure what Mercedes could have done to beat Red Bull

Hamilton took the lead from championship rival Max Verstappen at Turn 1 on the opening lap, but was undercut after Red Bull opted to bring the Dutchman in first for an early pit stop.

Mercedes extended both Hamilton’s first and second stints in a bid to create a tyre delta that would allow him to recover the time lost to Verstappen.

Hamilton sat over eight seconds behind Verstappen after his second stop, and used his fresher tyres to go over one second per lap quicker at one point, whittling the gap down to less than two seconds.

But Hamilton could not get close enough in the final few laps to try and overtake Verstappen, whose response ensured the gap stabilised and that he could hold on for victory.

The result means Hamilton now sits 12 points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ championship with five races to go this season.

“It was a fun race,” Hamilton said.

“We had a good start, and he seemed to be quite close throughout on the medium tyre. Then obviously they stopped extremely early, and just tried to offset myself after that.

“I was hoping that would give us a chance to fight late on, but I think track position was key today.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Hamilton felt that Red Bull had been “quicker on all tyres today”, saying its advantage in warmer conditions had “shone through this weekend”.

“I don’t know what we could have done differently,” Hamilton added.

“I’ll sit down and talk with the team afterwards. I think the team did a great job today, and it was what we had.

“We’re going to at least the next two tracks which are very strong circuits for Red Bull, so it’s going to be tough for sure.”

Read Also:

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff did not think the team could have pitted Hamilton as early as Verstappen, but felt its hard-tyre pace was strong enough to have won the race.

“I think we could have won the race, of course, because we were in the lead and we had a very strong pace on the hard,” Wolff said.

“In a way, we need to retrace the weekend from Friday to Sunday, where did we misjudge, where did we get it wrong, what did we do well?

“There will be plenty of positive discussions about what to learn from this weekend.”

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull: Verstappen’s tyres “down to the canvas” made US GP win doubtful
Previous article

Red Bull: Verstappen’s tyres “down to the canvas” made US GP win doubtful

Next article

Alonso baffled by "strange" FIA call on Raikkonen move in US GP

Alonso baffled by "strange" FIA call on Raikkonen move in US GP
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021