„The track was getting drier and I feel like I could have just finished the race on intermediateswithout stopping. Moreover, I saw Max Verstappen driving right in front of me in second place. That made it even more frustrating for me. Could we have stayed outside? It would have been a risk, but I like risks.”
“Time will tell”
Had Hamilton finished third, his gap to Max Verstappen would have been limited to one point instead of six. It can mean the difference between winning or losing in the exciting title fight. “Time will tell,” the 36-year-old Briton did not want to get ahead of things.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff defended the choice to bring Hamilton in by pointing to his leader’s lap times. “Suddenly they completely disappeared. Then it was clear that Lewis was going to lose his third place anyway and perhaps fall back to sixth. Fortunately, Valtteri Bottas won, who drove clear and gets a ten from me. In addition, he took the bonus point for the fastest lap. That’s how we did it anyway damage control.”
Wolff expects a lot from Bottas departing for Alfa Romeo in the coming races. “Valtteri can play an important role in the battle for the championship. If we hadn’t had him today, Max would have taken seven and maybe eight extra points.”
Where Red Bull team boss Christian Horner signaled in Turkey that Mercedes has taken a step in terms of motor, Hamilton denied that his team has found anything. “No, we haven’t done anything to our car. Maybe this job just suited us better. In any case, I hope we can maintain this form.” Wolff, however, said his team has “began to understand the car better” in recent weeks.