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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton explains how he planned Verstappen attack

Max Verstappen didn't make things easy for Lewis Hamilton during the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Verstappen Hamilton Brazil
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Although Lewis Hamilton's first attempt to pass Max Verstappen in the Brazilian Grand Prix didn't work out, the Mercedes driver says he used that experience to ensure he didn't make that same mistake again.

Hamilton won Sunday's race at Interlagos after a thrilling battle with his World Championship rival, a result that cuts Verstappen's lead in the Drivers' standings from 21 points to 14.

Although Hamilton quickly made his way up to P2 by Lap 19 of 71, after starting 10th on the grid, passing Verstappen proved more troublesome.

"What a title battle should look like"

It wasn't until Lap 59 that Hamilton claimed the lead of the race, and he explained why the leading Red Bull proved so difficult to pass.

"It was tough, [as] he generally could match my pace in front of me, more so in the last sector," Hamilton told RacingNews365.com and accredited members of the media.

"It was very difficult to follow in the last sector and get as good an exit as he got through Turn 12, so I kept coming up the straight.

"It wasn't that easy to be in his DRS, and even if I was in the DRS zone, it was a bit too far away. I just kept trying, just kept pushing. I had that one chance into Turn 4 [on Lap 48], but I just couldn't hold it.

"So I had that experience, and just made sure that I didn't make that mistake again, but I was adamant and determined to get back into that position.

"It was fun. I mean, that's what a World Championship battle should look like."

"I dummied him into Turn 1"

Hamilton and Verstappen were wheel-to-wheel heading into Turn 4 on Lap 48, with Verstappen's defence resulting in both drivers going across the escape area.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said after the race that he thought Verstappen should have picked up a time penalty for the move, but Hamilton says the lessons learned from the failed overtake helped him plan out his winning pass on Lap 59.

"I kind of dummied him a bit into Turn 1," said Hamilton.

"I was going to dive super late into Turn 1, so then he had to block, and then I had to be able to position the car correctly through Turn 1 and 2.

"I already knew through Turn 3 that I would have a far better slingshot past him because I was closer. At that point, I was ahead going into the braking zone.

"After that, it was really just trying to keep him out of my DRS, which wasn't too difficult, because it's hard to follow behind."

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F1 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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