Lewis Hamilton ‘felt so much hope’ that first 2022 win was on

Sam Cooper
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during practice. Austin October 2022.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during first practice at COTA. Austin October 2022.

Lewis Hamilton said he “felt so much hope” that a first win of the 2022 season was on at the United States Grand Prix.

Following Carlos Sainz’s early exit, Hamilton became an outside bet for the victory as race leader Max Verstappen continually found his lead cut due to multiple Safety Cars.

The Mercedes man then opted for the undercut and it really did look like it may be his day when a slow pit-stop for Verstappen not only allowed Hamilton to overtake the Red Bull man but Charles Leclerc too.

However, the Red Bull’s pace told with Verstappen on medium tyres making his way past Leclerc before passing Hamilton, who was on hard tyres, without too much fuss.

Hamilton went on to finish second, the third time in as many races at the Circuit of The Americas he has done so.

Speaking afterwards, Hamilton, now four points behind Sainz in the Drivers’ standings, said he “felt so much hope” the win had been on for him.

“[I feel] shattered,” he told David Coulthard in his initial post-race interview. “The car was a handful today.

“It felt amazing, firstly to be in the lead. That’s something we’ve been working so hard on as a team through the year and I felt so much hope.

“But it’s okay, we’ll hold on to that, we’ll keep pushing. Go try and get everything we can in these next three [races]. It will come to us at some stage.”

Mercedes brought upgrades for this race and Hamilton praised the work of his team as well as of that of Red Bull, while passing on his condolences for the loss of Dietrich Mateschitz.

“I want to give a big shout-out to my team who came here with upgrades – we closed the gap a little bit,” said Hamilton. “So, so close, I did everything I could to try and stay ahead but he (Verstappen) was just a little bit too quick today.

“But a great strategy. A great race by Red Bull and again, my condolences to the team.”

The result marks the first time Hamilton has been on the podium in six races as he continues to try and cut the gap between himself and his team-mate George Russell.

Russell, who ended up P5 having been given a five-second penalty for crashing into Sainz on the opening lap, leads Hamilton by 20 points with three races to go.