Hamilton defends Rosberg overtake


Lewis Hamilton says Nico Rosberg just ran out of road in their battle for the lead at Suzuka, adamant there was nothing more sinister than that.

Starting second on the grid in the Japanese Grand Prix, Hamilton made a quick getaway to take the fight to pole-sitter Rosberg.

Side-by-side the World Champion gained the inside line and held it through the first and second corners.

But as they came up the exit of Turn 2, Rosberg’s challenge faltered as he ran a bit wide while his team-mate swept into the lead.

“It got really close on the exit of Turn 2 and I had to back out of it there and that lost me the race,” he said.

“I haven’t seen it on TV. For sure it was close – I had to avoid a collision – but it is difficult to comment now.”

Hamilton, however, says it was his line and his corner.

“I don’t really feel it was that close,” explained the race winner. “The inside line is the inside line, so it was my corner.

“I was understeering and I was running out of grip.

“I imagine Nico was running out of road but that is what happens when you are on the outside.”

As for his victory, the 41st of his Formula 1 career, the Brit was delighted to have not only matched Ayrton Senna but also to have put Mercedes’ Singapore woes firmly in the past.

“I can’t really describe it; it doesn’t feel real at the moment,” he said.

“It was definitely important for us to strike back here. Ferrari was incredibly quick at the last race and we didn’t bring our ‘A-game’.

“We took a step back afterwards and brought it here. It’s remarkable what the team has done, the car was beautiful to drive today.”