‘Next time!’ – Lewis Hamilton reacts after narrowly losing US Grand Prix to Max Verstappen

A close race in Austin.

‘Next time!’ – Lewis Hamilton reacts after narrowly losing US Grand Prix to Max Verstappen
Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand Prix 2023
Lewis Hamilton finished second at the US GP (Photo: Getty)

Sir Lewis Hamilton came agonisingly close to winning his first race in nearly two years in the USA, but was pipped to the post by Max Verstappen.

The three-time champion claimed his 50th Formula One victory in Austin on Sunday, but it was not the dominant performance one has become accustomed to this season, finishing just two seconds ahead of his Mercedes rival.

Mercedes bought upgrades to the Circuit of the Americas and but with Red Bull’s RB19 still the quickest car, the team tried Hamilton on a different strategy.

Initially, it seemed to be a very poor decision, with Hamilton fuming over the team radio, saying: ‘You’ve given me a hell of a gap to close,’ but eventually it paid off as he overtook Lando Norris for P2 in the closing stages.

The gap to Verstappen appeared to be too much, however in the final few laps,the Brit began to close in on the Dutchman at an alarming rate as his tyres and brakes faded, but ultimately ran out of time to make the pass for the win.

‘Fantastic weekend, guys. Really well done. We’ve got lots of work to do in different areas but let’s keep pushing,’ Hamilton said on the team radio.

‘Thank you to everyone back at the factory for the upgrade. Let’s keep pushing, we are getting closer. Next time. I really appreciate you not giving up on us.’

With Norris’ McLaren team also running Verstappen and Red Bull close during the grand prix, it has given the grid hope that they can compete with this year’s constructors’ champions very soon.

‘First of all, we have to congratulate these guys [Red Bull]. The team has done an incredible job all year long, just dominated and Max has been flawless,’ Hamilton said post-race.

‘We were catching towards the end and I was hopeful we needed some more laps. The team did an amazing job this weekend, so much work to bring this upgrade here.

‘Honestly it was really difficult after the last race, firstly with everything that is going on in the world and the big mistake I made. I really felt like I let the team down so much.

‘I had to go through a real deep process of getting back here. It’s one of those experiences of not how you fall but how you get up.’

Mercedes have not win since the Brazil Grand Prix last year through George Russell, while Hamilton’s last victory came in Saudi Arabia in December 2021.

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