Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton Feels There Was “nothing” To Prevent Max Verstappen Win At 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

(Image credit: LAT Images)

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has admitted that there was “nothing” he could do to stop Red Bull Max Verstappen winning 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix.

Hamilton had qualified second in a shock front-row lockout for Mercedes with Valtteri Bottas on pole position, yet Verstappen was able to sweep round both Silver Arrows into Turn One to claim the lead and sprinted away to victory by 16.555 seconds.

Hamilton consequently settled for second after fending off Sergio Perez throughout the majority of the race, despite stopping 11 laps earlier than the Mexican and encountering numerous backmarkers who struggled to move out of the way due to a lack of blue flags.

Explaining why second was the best that he could manager, Hamilton said: “That car was faster than we were this weekend and there’s nothing we could really do about it. I gave it absolutely everything and obviously a great fight with Sergio at the end but I’m grateful I could still at least get a second-place finish.”

Hamilton though enjoyed his battle with Perez despite the Mexican’s faster pace and praised his rival for an impressive display, as he added: “It was easy enough to hold on – I’ve been in that situation many times before – but it shows how fast their car was when Sergio was that close behind me and able to follow that closely. He did a great job!”

Bottas meanwhile finished 15th after enduring a disastrous race following an opening corner spin following a nudge from Perez into McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo who unintentionally spun him around.

Explaining exactly what happened, Bottas commented: “As I turned into Turn 1, I got hit from behind and spun me around – then I was stuck in traffic and couldn’t make progress.

“I was giving it everything but it was hard running in traffic because I was overheating the brakes and engine, so I couldn’t get past the McLaren in front.”

Bottas though was able to deny Verstappen the point for fastest lap despite not gaining the point himself, due to finishing outside of the top ten although his first attempt was denied by Verstappen deliberately impeding him as he was free to do as race leader.

Humorously making light of that particular incident, Bottas described Verstappen’s decision to impede him as “a bit funny,” although he added that finding clear spacing on track was tough but is relieved to keep Mercedes ahead in the Constructors’ fight by a single point.

Team Principal, Toto Wolff meanwhile was impressed by how Red Bull’s “pace was on another level” as he admitted that this was Red Bull’s race to lose, as he said: “I don’t think we could have won the race even if we had stayed ahead in the first corner because they could have pincered us around the pit stops.”

Wolff though is confident that second place is “damage limitation” for Hamilton’s title challenge despite slipping 19 points behind Verstappen, because one retirement for the Dutchman and a victory for Hamilton in that particular race would swing the title destiny in the Brit’s direction.

Bottas’ spin though was described as “very painful” according to Wolff but he admitted that Bottas battling Hamilton at the start enabled Verstappen to sweep round the outside line into the lead, when Bottas could of covered off the outside line instead.

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