Hamilton praises Leclerc Copse battle, ‘lot different’ to 2021

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc racing Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Silverstone July 2022

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc racing the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. Silverstone July 2022

Fighting with a rival through Copse for the second successive season, Lewis Hamilton has praised Charles Leclerc for their lack of contact while having a dig at Max Verstappen for their 2021 troubles.

Inspired by the British public and a bounce-free W13, Hamilton had arguably his best Sunday of the 2022 season as he fought for victory at the British Grand Prix.

That included several tussles, the Briton taking on Leclerc and Sergio Perez late in the race.

Going wheel-to-wheel with Leclerc through Copse corner, unlike in 2021 this time there was no contact.

“Charles did a great job, what a great battle. He’s a very sensible driver, clearly a lot different to what I experienced last year,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.

“At Copse for example, the two of us went through there with no problem. What a battle.”

Last season, the seven-time former World Champion tangled with Verstappen through Copse, contact for which Hamilton was deemed responsible by the stewards, pitching the Red Bull driver into a high-speed crash.

Hamilton was hit with a 10-second time penalty but still managed to pull off the race victory.

This season he finished in third place, his third podium of the season.

He was left to rue what could have been had he been able to pass Lando Norris earlier in the grand prix and also had Mercedes pulled off a perfect pit-stop.

Hamilton’s first stop was a slow one, meaning he was not able to get the jump on the Ferrari team-mates.

“Definitely, for a while it was feeling on,” he said of the missed win. “A bunch of things went against us. The start, we got up to third and then they put us back to fifth.

“Then I lost ground to Lando, so I spent a bunch of laps trying to get past him.

“Then the gap was five or six seconds to the Ferraris. But I was doing good time, catching them up, I did a good long stint and thought ‘yes, maybe we can fight for a win here’.

“But unfortunately the gap was too big and the pit-stop wasn’t very quick. Then at the end, I just struggled with the warm-up and lost out to two cars. It was so tough.”

The driver believes Mercedes with their upgraded W13 “are on the turning point, we are still on the bend. It was a big improvement from the car but we’ve still got work to do.”


Highlights from the British Grand Prix

Put simply, it was a quite remarkable British Grand Prix on Sunday.