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Formula 1

Brundle: Hamilton got away too well in Mexico

Lewis Hamilton had a great start in Mexico. In fact, Martin Brundle believes the seven-time World Champion was hurt by how well he got off the line.

Hamilton Mexico 2021
To news overview © Mercedes

Martin Brundle believes Lewis Hamilton's start at the Mexican Grand Prix was too good, as it prevented him from getting in behind teammate Valtteri Bottas on the run down to Turn 1.

The seven-time World Champion and the Finn managed to lock out the front row at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, however, they found themselves behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen heading into the first corner.

In the end, Verstappen took the chequered flag to extend his lead in the World Championship, with Brundle stating that Hamilton's strong start ultimately hurt him, as he wasn't able to use the slipstream created by Bottas during the approach to Turn 1.

"All eyes were on the front two rows, and unfortunately for Hamilton he got away a little too well on the dirty side of the grid, such that he couldn't really tuck in behind his teammate," Brundle wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

"Verstappen could for a while and then pulled left to make it three abreast. Bottas didn't want to give the Red Bull a slipstream and so just drove in a straight line.

"This perfectly opened up the space, angle, and much cleaner racing line for Verstappen to brake later and sweep around the outside of both Mercedes. Bottas' track position effectively pinned Hamilton to the grubby inside and very tight line.

"He was then cautious on the brakes presumably to let Hamilton through and was clouted by Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren which arrived rather hot and locked up into the braking zone and first apex."

Verstappen and Hamilton know things can change

Verstappen's win in Mexico means he now holds a 19-point advantage in the Drivers' standings with just four races remaining.

However, Brundle believes both Verstappen and Hamilton know that nothing has been decided when it comes to the World Championship.

He added: "Max knows very well, just as Lewis does, how quickly this can all turn around, given he only has the equivalent of one second place and a fastest lap points advantage.

"On Sunday race morning back at Silverstone in July, for example, he led by 33 points. The crash that day turned the season on its head, and Max is smart enough to keep his hands firmly in his pockets rather than even begin to reach out towards his first world title."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Should Mercedes worry after Verstappen's untouchable performance in Mexico?

It's time for the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discuss Max Verstappen's dominant victory and much, much more from the Mexico City Grand Prix.

F1 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix RN365 News dossier