Max Verstappen has explained why he chose to let Lewis Hamilton back through on the back straight on Lap 53, rather than doing so further around the lap.
Verstappen overtook the Mercedes driver at Turn 4 on Lap 53, but ran too wide in doing so. Having overtaken with all four wheels off the track, Race Director Michael Masi instructed Red Bull to tell Verstappen to yield the position back.
Verstappen did so going down the back straight, heading into a sequence of corners. Sliding a little going through Turn 13, Verstappen lost crucial ground to Hamilton as a result.
Asked why he didn't elect to let Hamilton through a few corners later in order to latch back onto the back of the Merc with DRS, Verstappen said: "Well, if I would have let him by later then it’s an unfair way of giving the position back because then you’re so close and it’s an easy DRS pass so I had to do it after Turn 10."
"I was just surprised to follow. I got into Turn 13 and I had a big oversteer and from there onwards I just didn’t have the tyres any more to attack."
Despite Verstappen's tyres being considerably fresher than Hamilton's, he explained that the inability to follow closely without hurting the tyres prevented him from attacking again.
"Of course my tyres were, I think, ten or eleven laps younger but with these cars, that advantage goes away very quickly once you get within 1.5s and like I said before, with the wind in the direction it was, it was not helping.
"With these cars, I think the last three years, it is very important to have track position and we gave that up today."