Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has vowed to take “positives” of his second-placed finish at a dramatic 2022 US Grand Prix.
Having benefitted from an opening-corner collision between his teammate, George Russell and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, Hamilton found himself in a race-long tussle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who dominated the opening two phrases.
A slow second pit-stop for Verstappen on Lap 36 however enabled Hamilton to undercut the two-time champion and claim the lead of the race once Perez pitted and he cleared Sebastian Vettel,
Hamilton though ran the more durable hard tyre during his final stint whilst Verstappen was able to maximise the pace advantage of his medium tyres, which proved crucial as the Dutchman passed Hamilton on Lap 50 to deny the Brit a first win of 2022 season.
Reflecting post-race on his strongest drive of the campaign, Hamilton revealed that he felt “shattered” but acknowledged the “amazing” feeling of leading the race despite his Mercedes proving to be “a handful” like it was in Qualifying.
Mercedes this weekend brought their final upgrades package of thee season which Hamilton believes has cut their deficit slightly, as he enjoyed his “close” battle with Verstappen for the win but felt that his rival was “just a little bit too quick.”
Hamilton though has vowed to take the positives from the race as he commented: “We’ve been working so hard as a Team over this year, and there are lots of positives from this race, as a team we showed great pit stop and strategy performance.
“I’m also happy with my performance and it was showing when we have a competitive car, I can bring it home. So we’ll keep pushing and we’ll try and give it everything we can over the next three races – it’ll come to us at some stage.”
Team Principal, Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton’s comments as he described the race as “a step forward” for the team despite their deficit to Red Bull and Ferrari with “encouraging performance.”
Russell meanwhile finished fifth after enduring “a difficult afternoon” following a five-second time penalty for unavoidably colliding with Sain’s spinning Ferrari but believes that he has made “a good step forward” in not battling the midfield this weekend.
This is Russell’s third race finish without a podium but he is eager “to get back on the podium” in the final three races, as he itarated that “fighting for race wins is still the goal for us. Even if we don’t achieve a race win, we want to be in a position where we have a chance to fight for the win.”