‘We just made it so hard for ourselves’: Lewis Hamilton rues Mercedes strategy after narrowly missing out on claiming title in Texas
- Lewis Hamilton fell short of securing F1 title at United States Grand Prix
- Brit finished third after being pipped by Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen
- However, Mercedes driver can now claim fifth title at next race in Mexico
- READ: All the latest F1 news, features and points tables
Lewis Hamilton cursed Mercedes’ ‘double bogey’ performance that cost him a possible coronation in Sunday’s US Grand Prix.
His fifth title must now wait until Mexico next weekend after his pit wall gambled by bringing him in for an early stop. The strategy misfired and he finished third, but commanding the standings with a 70-point lead with 75 on offer.
A disappointed Hamilton said: ‘I thought we would be able to do better.
Lewis Hamilton raises his third place trophy after just missing out on securing the title
‘We just made it so hard for ourselves to compete. I am not sure about the reasoning behind the strategy. A difficult day, not our best. We didn’t perform that great and that is not something we usually do.
‘We will go back to the drawing board and regroup. This was over-par for us — a double bogey weekend.’
Despite missing out in Texas, Hamilton needs only to finish seventh in Mexico City to be assured of the title. His tenuous rival Sebastian Vettel, who was fourth after coming back from a first-lap collision with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, needs to win all the last three races to stop the Briton.
‘I have probably needed to win the last four or five,’ said Vettel, smiling. ‘I had another recovery drive today. I am getting a bit fed up of recovery drives. The **** hit the fan a while back and it hasn’t got much better.’
Congrats to Kimi, he did a great job today out there. A huge thanks to the fans for always making this such a special place to race. We keep working and will push forward to the next one in Mexico #USGP #F1 @MercedesAMGF1 pic.twitter.com/otpMJS0DhS
Kimi Raikkonen’s win means the Brit will have to wait until Mexico to claim a fifth crown
WHAT LEWIS NEEDS TO DO IN MEXICO
Lewis Hamilton needs to finish at least seventh at the Mexican Grand Prix to claim his fifth world championship.
Hamilton is looking to move level with Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio on five titles. That would leave him two shy of Michael Schumacher’s seven.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen won for the first time in 113 races on Sunday and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished third.
‘It was a battle at times,’ 39-year-old Raikkonen said after securing his first victory since Australia in 2013.
‘I got a good start. It’s been a great week and the car has been pretty good.’
Raikkonen had passed Hamilton into the first corner at Austin, Texas on his way to victory
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