Lewis Hamilton on what P2 Drivers’ finish would mean to him and Mercedes

Michelle Foster
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton interview after qualifying in Austin. F1 news

Lewis Hamilton was in the headlines along with Charles Leclerc for their disqualification from the US Grand Prix.

Even if Lewis Hamilton doesn’t catch Sergio Perez for second, the Briton says he is “really proud” at the work Mercedes have done to get him close to the Red Bull driver in the standings.

With five races to go Hamilton is just 30 points behind Perez in the Drivers’ standings having taken 25 points off the Mexican driver’s lead in the last three races.

In a battle that looks set to go down to the wire, Hamilton has an on-track advantage over his rival for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix where he qualified third to Perez’s P9.

Lewis Hamilton will start the U.S GP ahead of Sergio Perez

But while one could argue that the pace shown by the Red Bull RB19 throughout this championship should still give Perez the upper hand, the 33-year-old is going through his second slump of the season.

That combined with Mercedes’ upgraded W14, Hamilton saying he “actually felt” the impact of the new floor, could see Hamilton end Red Bull’s dream of a 1-2 finish.

However, even if he does miss out, he’s proud of the “resilience and strength” Mercedes have shown in their recovery.

“I mean, all of us are pushing to finish first,” he said. “So I think it will be just a showing of really, you know, resilience and strength and depth from our team. I think we had a difficult year last year.

“And even with the start to this year, we didn’t expect to be where we are. So to be fighting for second in the Constructors’ and obviously trying to hold that position to these two guys [Ferrari and McLaren].

“I mean, I don’t know whether or not we’ll catch Sergio but given the difference of our cars throughout the season, I’m really proud of the work that we’ve done. We’ve just got to keep our heads down, keep fighting, keep pushing.

“It’s a race for development and it’s who can get the top of the mountain first for next year, I guess.”

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Whether Hamilton can take a significant chunk of points with a victory on Sunday with the Briton already a five-time winner at the Circuit of The Americas, he isn’t willing to make any predictions.

“Too early to say. None of us have done any long running. So I have no idea,” he said.

“Maybe with the Red Bull not in the top three, maybe that makes it a better, closer battle maybe because they’re often quite a bit ahead and just disappear into the distance. So hopefully the three of us can have a tight battle.”

Hamilton will line up third on the grid behind pole-sitter Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

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