Formula 1 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) didn't have the right tires and ended up 'getting lost' in front of Max Verstappen
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Formula 1 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) didn’t have the right tires and ended up ‘getting lost’ in front of Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton wasn’t too close to winning this year. At Le Castellet, on July 24, he signed his best performance of 2022 with second place, once again benefiting from the disposal of a Ferrari. But he was not able to threaten the winner, Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

On Sunday, in Austin, the Briton did much better than that. We even thought he would win. The 11.1-second stop the Dutchman held before the Red Bull garage on lap 36 of the 56-foot US Grand Prix has him nearly four seconds over his rival in 2021, proving that conviction that his day has finally arrived.

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From 41 to 49, he led his favorite circuit of the Americas. Taking his ‘hard’ tires as fast as he could, he ran ahead of the RB18 #1 on ‘medium’. But the fight was lopsided and he worked on it by caving to the 12th brake, on 50 of the 56 laps. “Awesome driving. Absolutely fantastic. Maybe next time…”his engineer, Peter Bonnington, told him in his returning lap. “I did my best. I gave my all. Very good stop. Good strategy. So close, so far. Let’s keep giving everything…”He answered without energy.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) at the 2022 US Grand Prix

Credit: Getty Images

14 points behind Ferrari in the championship

The seven-time world champion earned 18 points on Sunday, giving him hope that he can finish fourth in the world championships. Away from Max Verstappen, at a distance from Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull), but in the match with teammate George Russell and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), he caused the poor operation the day after retirement. By the second pilot of Grays.

In short, Lewis Hamilton still has something to look for, he is the one who has only been beaten twice by his neighbor in his entire career, in 2011 by Jenson Button at McLaren and in 2016 by Nico Rosberg at Mercedes. Even better, recent developments in the W13, although targeted in the 2023 car, convinced him that victory was still possible for him during the final stages of the World Cup, in Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi. Better and even better: That fifth-place finish by George Russell, with a point on the fastest lap, brought Mercedes closer to 14 points than Ferrari in the Constructors’ World Cup. The gap between the Reds and the Grays hasn’t been too small this year, and beating Maranello in the wire would be a small achievement for Brackley.

Painful but logical

“I’m washedhe did not hide his English when he arrived. It was surprising to be in the lead, but the car was demanding today. We came here with the developments and closed the gap a bit. He was very close, and I did everything I could to try to stay ahead, but Red Bull was too quick. I think with DRS they are 35 km/h faster than us. If we’re behind them, we’re about 22 km/h faster with the DRS straight in the back. So he came back from a very, very far away. But even without the DRS, I think they are still ahead of us at 8 km/h. So we lost a lot of time in a row, maybe at least 0.4 per lap.

“There are a lot of positives in this race, as a team: we had a great pit stop and we followed a good performance strategy”he added.

“Somehow, it hurts to lose this victoryexplain to channel +. But to be realistic, we didn’t have the Red Bulls rhythm. We never did this year and that’s why they are world champions. So our presence in this fight was great. So there are a lot of positives to get rid of. I tried to be steady at the front.”

Hamilton did not have a “middleman” to fight

“I am also happy with my performance and it shows that when we have a competitive car, I can get the result.he insisted. We will give everything in the last three races and that will come at the end.”

“Lewis had a good race and gave it his all. He was running short on tires because he didn’t have a ‘middleman’ to choose from and holding on to a potential win seemed possible at this point, but once he got past Max Charles and couldn’t resist, it was only a matter of time.” “.explained Toto Wolff, team manager.

“It was a tough time for meConfessed by George Russell. It’s very unfortunate how things initially went because I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m contributing to another driver having to retire.”

The car wasn’t easy.

“The team at the factory is doing a great job of continuing to update the car, trying to make it a little lighter and understanding what we need to work on for next year; that’s where we’re currently focused on.male young Englishman. I obviously want to go back to the podium, because the last time seems like an eternity (Note: Monza, there are three races). We’ve had such good shape, but the last two races haven’t gone well in terms of personal performance. Our goal is to really fight for victories.”

“It’s undeniable, Red Bull is still ahead, but I think we’re getting close to them and Ferrari, and that’s a positive result for us.”Toto Wolff added. “The speed was good but the car wasn’t easy and that’s an area we understand a little bit better compared to some races so far.”Andrew Shovlin, chief operating engineer.

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