Hamilton says ‘it felt amazing’ to lead US Grand Prix as wait for victory continues
Lewis Hamilton took a sensational podium and led nine laps on the way to his seventh podium of the season at the Circuit of The Americas…
Mercedes may still be hunting their first win of the season, but, in Texas, they outscored Ferrari to close the gap in the constructors’ standings to 53 points. Hamilton started on the second row for the United States Grand Prix after Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez were demoted with grid penalties.
“I mean, I am shattered,” said Hamilton after finishing second. “The car was a handful today. It felt amazing firstly to be in the lead. That is something we have been working so hard on as a team through the year and I felt so much hope, but it’s okay.
“We’ll hold on to that, we’ll keep pushing and we’ll try and give it everything we have in the next three [Grands Prix]. It will come to us at some stage.”
The seven-time champion finished second in Texas after pole-sitter Carlos Sainz retired on Lap 1. Hamilton took the lead after undercutting Max Verstappen, who had a slow second pit stop, but the Mercedes driver was soon passed by the Red Bull driver – who won the race while his team secured the constructors’ championship.
“Huge thank you to the crowd here, we have such an amazing crowd,” said Hamilton. “This is the biggest crowd we’ve had here in the whole time we’ve been here. Secondly, I want to give a big shoutout to my team. We came here with upgrades, we closed the gap a little bit.
“We were so, so close, I did everything I could to try and stay ahead [of Verstappen] but they were just a little bit too quick today. But great strategy, great race by Red Bull and again my condolences to the team,” he said, after the passing of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz.
Having taken a five-second penalty for contact with Sainz at the start, Hamilton’s team mate George Russell finished fifth in the United States.