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Lewis Hamilton

Why Hamilton didn't defend harder against Verstappen

The seven-time world champion has explained why he did not put up a more robust defence against Max Verstappen at the end of the French GP.

Hamilton Verstappen France
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Lewis Hamilton feels it was inevitable that Max Verstappen was going to overtake him during the closing stages of the French GP which is why he did not defend hard against the Red Bull driver.

Hamilton was nursing his hard tyres to the end of the race whilst Verstappen was chasing him down on fresher, medium tyres. With two laps to go, Verstappen went for it and made a relatively easy move down the inside of Hamilton at Turn 8 on the back straight.

"Firstly, there's marbles on the inside so I I didn't want to make my tyres any worse than they already were," Hamilton told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

"He [Verstappen] had the DRS open, if he didn't pass me there, he would would have overtaken me on the other straight afterwards so it made zero difference.

"I just had no front end, so he would have gone the other way so it was pointless to defend any harder. You saw, what happened to Valtteri and he just ended up going straight on so no point messing up the tyres anymore."

Hamilton also believes that a two-stop strategy could have won him the race as he lost a further eight points to Verstappen in the championship to trail by 12 points after seven rounds.

"A two-stop would have potentially done the job," said Hamilton. "But it was not on the cards us at all so we will do some analysis and try and figure out why."

F1 2021 French Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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