'I have a lot of respect for him' – Hamilton clarifies Mexico City GP comments on Perez and Bottas
Lewis Hamilton has taken to social media to clarify comments made about Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas after he finished second in the Mexico City Grand Prix…
The Briton absorbed pressure from home hero Perez to hold onto second at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, and when trying to explain the impressive pace of Red Bull versus Mercedes, he told Sky: “Their pace, it was just unbelievable, and there was nothing I could do to battle that – and when you’ve got Checo [Perez] on your tail, then you know the car is quick.”
Some interpreted that as a dig at Perez and on Monday, Hamilton released a message on Instagram to clarify what he was trying to say.
“[I] just want to make sure people don’t read what I was saying wrong yesterday,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for Sergio Perez and think he’s doing a great job in his new team.
"He’s improved so much this season and I know how hard it is to progress with a new team, it takes time.
“My comment was simply that following another car in Mexico is the hardest thing due to the low drag we all have. That’s why there is very little overtaking. However, he was able to follow so closely which highlights just how much more downforce they were able to carry. Big up Checo for keeping it clean.”
Hamilton also addressed his comments about his Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas, when he said the Finn had "left the door" open at the start of the race allowing Max Verstappen to sweep into the lead at the first corner, as you can see in the clip above.
Again, on his Instagram, he wrote: “We all have bad days. We live and learn. Yesterday I said that vb [Bottas] left the door open and naturally people will jump to criticise.
“We are a team and we win and we lose as a team. There is not one single person responsible for winning or losing, we do it together good or bad.
“You may be able to beat us but you can’t break us! Onto the next one Valtteri, let’s keep pushing bro.”
Hamilton heads to Brazil this week trailing title rival Verstappen by 19 points, with just four races – including a Sprint with an additional three points on offer – to go.