Hamilton: Congratulations Max, that car was superior

1-hamilton mexico city grand prix

Lewis Hamilton started the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix from second on the grid and that’s where he ended despite a late-race challenge by Sergio Perez that left the Mercedes driver wondering where Red Bull found the extra performance on Sunday.

The seven-time F1 World Champion had to dig deep to defend second place from the feisty Mexican, urged on by a partisan home crowd sensing a second place that never came thanks to Hamilton’s impenetrable defence for those final ten laps when the Red Bull was in DRS range.

With title rival Max Verstappen winning comfortably and Hamilton finishing second. the Mercedes driver drops another seven points to the Dutchman who is now 19 ahead with four rounds to go.

Speaking in parc ferme after a tense race, Hamilton said: “Firstly congratulations to Max that car was superior this weekend. I gave it everything and had a great fight with Sergio in the end and got second.

“The pressure I have had many times before so it was easy to hold on and it showed just how fast their car was. [Perez] had a great race and piled on that pressure and kept going – but I enjoyed that race.”

“I started second and finished second – but their pace [Red Bull] was unbelievable today and there was nothing I could do and when you have Checo on your tail you know he is going to be fast.

“We have four races to go and we have to keep pushing – I did not know where this performance [from Red Bull] came from today – they really have the strong car and I have to make sure I don’t leave any stone unturned. I have to push everything out of the car.”

Speaking to Sky a little later, Hamilton recurred: “I started second and finished second – but their pace [Red Bull] was unbelievable today and there was nothing I could do and when you have Checo on your tail you know he is going to be fast.

“We have four races to go and we have to keep pushing – I did not know where this [Red Bull] performance came from today, they really have the strong car and I have to make sure I don’t leave any stone unturned. I have to push everything out of the car.”

Later in the Mercedes team report, Hamilton reiterated: “At the end, I’m grateful I could still at least get a second-place finish. It was easy enough to hold on – I’ve been in that situation many times before – but it shows how fast their car was when Sergio was that close behind me and able to follow that closely.

“He did a great job! Even so, I really enjoyed the race and got everything out of it that we could today. Now we need to get our heads down and keep working hard to prepare for the next races, they will be coming at us fast over the next two weekends,” predicted the winner of 100 Grands Prix.