After the sanctions against Sergio Pérez and Charles Leclerc for changing the engine, Hamilton and Russell started third and fourth this Sunday, looking to surprise the two drivers who started at the front. Sainz’s accident at the start, precisely with Russell, allowed the seven-time champion to take second, a position in which he was for much of the race.
Two Safety Cars and especially an error by Red Bull in Verstappen’s second pitstop allowed Hamilton to lead the United States GP, but in the end he could do nothing to stop the champion, who overtook him to add his thirteenth victory of the year.
As soon as he got out of the car, Hamilton wanted to thank the fans who filled the Circuit of the Americas and then his team: “First of all I want to thank the public, we have had an incredible public. It is the largest number of viewers we’ve had since we’ve come here, so thank you all so much.”
“Secondly, I want to give a big round of applause to my team. We came here with improvements, we closed the gap a little bit. It was very, very close. I did everything I could to try to stay ahead, but today they were too fast. But great strategy, great race also Red Bull, and again, my condolences to the team [on the death of owner Dietrich Mateschitz].”
Then, on Sky Sports , he was asked about the battle with his great rival from 2021, Max Verstappen, and after again praising Mercedes, he said he had no chance to stop the Dutchman: ” Everyone in the factory is working very hard. and it’s been a very difficult year for the whole team. We came here with improvements, they worked very hard to bring those improvements to the track and it had an effect, so today we were closer. I’m very proud of everyone.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t get the win, I gave it my all. Obviously we were in the lead and I could see a second a lap coming up and I couldn’t respond. He jumped in from way back down the straight, I think they’re much quicker, like 10km/h faster than us on the straights, and at the end of the straight our mirrors were vibrating so much that I couldn’t see where I was, so it was hard to defend.
Despite the fact that he could not add his sixth win in Austin, and what would be the first of 2022, Hamilton celebrated having been so close to winning: “I’m devastated. The car was amazing today. First of all, it was incredible to be in the lead, it’s something we’ve worked hard on as a team throughout the year, and it gives us great hope.”
“But that’s okay, we’ll stick with it, we’ll keep pushing, we’ll try as much as we can in these next three grands prix. It will come to us at some point.”
Mercedes is still far from Ferrari (53 points) in the constructors’ championship, but Hamilton still does not rule out the sorpasso. When asked what it would mean for his team, he stated: “ I don’t know, I can’t put into words how much it would mean for the team, especially with everything that is going on and everything that happened in the last race last year and what’s happened this year in terms of our car’s performance and what’s happened with all the news and stuff.
“So to get a win would be a huge win for all of us and hugely rewarding.”
Finally, Hamilton left a positive and very optimistic message, reminding everyone that he has not lost his level and promising to prove it next year: “ What I take away from today is that we have had a good pace. I’m still here, and I know that when they build next year’s car, I’ll take it to the top. We just have to keep working.”