Lewis Hamilton has clarified the remark he made about Sergio Perez following the Mexican Grand Prix, stating that he has "a lot of respect" for him.
With Max Verstappen storming to victory in Sunday's race, Hamilton's battle was against the other Red Bull of Perez, who followed closely for the majority of the 71-lap encounter and attacked the Mercedes in the closing stages.
Hamilton appeared to take a cheeky dig at the Mexican immediately after the race during an interview with Sky Sports F1, commenting: "When you've got Checo [Perez] on your tail, then you know the car is quick..."
However, Hamilton has posted on social media to clarify the comment.
"He's doing a great job"
"Just want to make sure people don't read what I was saying wrong yesterday," Hamilton wrote on Instagram.
"I have a lot of respect for [Perez] and think he's doing a great job in his new team. He's improved so much this season and I know how hard it is to progress with a new team, it takes time.
"My comment was simply that following another car in Mexico is the hardest thing due to the low drag we all have. That's why there is very little overtaking. However, he was able to follow so closely which highlights just how much more downforce they were able to carry."
Hamilton signed off: "Big up to Checo for keeping it clean."
Hamilton now trails Verstappen by 19 points in the Drivers' Championship, while Red Bull's double podium – and Valtteri Bottas' non-score – has slashed the gap to Mercedes in the Constructors' standings to just one point.
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