Hamilton "made sure" to give Verstappen space at Turn 1

Lewis Hamilton says he "made sure" to give Max Verstappen room when the Red Bull attacked him for the lead at Turn 1 of Formula 1's 2021 Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton "made sure" to give Verstappen space at Turn 1
Listen to this article

At the start of the race Hamilton went on to win, the pair came very close to touching as Verstappen aggressively remained on the racing line heading into the second corner, having forced his way to Hamilton's inside on the long run down to Turn 1 at Barcelona.

The near-clash made it four races in a row since the start of the season that the pair have gone wheel-to-wheel, with Verstappen afterwards racing into the lead he would hold for much of the race, until Mercedes' aggressive strategy calls got Hamilton into contention to pass back ahead late in the race with a major tyre-life offset compared to his rival.

When asked to describe his feelings on Verstappen's move by Motorsport.com, Hamilton said: "As we went into Turn 1, I just made sure I gave as much space as I could to Max. In my mind, it's always a marathon not a sprint, so I'm just always thinking the long game.

"And, sure, you could be a little bit more aggressive. Do I need to? Well, I'm in the position that I'm in because I don't get too aggressive when I don't need to be."

Read Also:

Hamilton did acknowledge that there was a brief moment on the run from the grid – when Verstappen tucked in to sit behind the Mercedes for a few seconds – where he could have moved across to the inside and "sealed the job there".

He explained: "I knew Valtteri [Bottas] was obviously starting third and the goal was to work as a team, so I stayed to the left.

"I think in hindsight, there could have been a moment, looking back, that when Max moved in behind me for a second [where] I could have pulled across and sealed the job there. But I didn't."

Explaining his view of the Turn 1 incident, Verstappen said: "The launch was good, and I of course ran a little bit less wing compared to Mercedes and that helped a bit to get alongside Lewis. And then I went for it in Turn 1."

Bottas also spoke about the start of the race alongside Hamilton and Verstappen in the post-event press conference, where he explained how he fell behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc at Barcelona's famous Turn 3 right-hander – a move that significantly compromised the Finn's chances of staying with the leaders for the rest of the race.

"To be honest, I didn't see Charles in Turn 3," said Bottas. "Once I saw him on the outside going a lot quicker than me then it was too late. I need to review that."

When asked if he had lost momentum behind Hamilton and Verstappen's near touch approaching Turn 2, Bottas replied: "Yeah, for sure, but Turns 1/2 – there's only one line, you can't do much.

"So, I knew I could keep my place there, but then in Turn 3 I was really trying to follow Lewis closely on the inside and I had no chance that Charles was so close and managed to get good grip and line from the outside."

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton hails "good gamble" on Spanish GP strategy
Previous article

Hamilton hails "good gamble" on Spanish GP strategy

Next article

Red Bull: Verstappen "called himself in" for slow pitstop

Red Bull: Verstappen "called himself in" for slow pitstop
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

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

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

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi 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 Motorsport.com 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 shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

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. We break 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 F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era 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 Prime

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 Prime

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 stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022