Lewis Hamilton notes challenging F1 Las Vegas GP and adds on the Oscar Piastri thud which set him back a bit but he managed to come back.
It was not the start that Mercedes’ Hamilton wanted after starting in the mid-pack in F1 Las Vegas GP where he was hit by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz after the Spaniard’s moment. Fortunately, the Brit could continue on in a charging drive.
He picked up drivers one by one but it halted when he had a minor collision with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri. The Australian pitted straight up with puncture while Hamilton continued on. However, he soon had a slow puncture himself which hampered him.
Since he crossed the pit entry line, he couldn’t enter and had to complete the whole lap slowly. That cost him time but he managed to come back to end up seventh. “It was a pretty challenging race,” said Hamilton. I started on the Hard tyre which was tricky at the beginning,” said Hamilton.
“I got hit by someone behind a big hit, I think it was from Carlos and I was just trying not to hit the cars that spun round and I fell back I think five or six places. Then after that, just making my way back I was feeling great, tyres were feeling good, pace was strong and went up the inside of Piastri, I don’t really know exactly what happened but I obviously got that the hit from behind.
“I think it was a racing incident but then it just felt like a thud, I didn’t have a puncture immediately. So I was accelerating and just as I got alongside the pit lane entry, I felt the rear was moving and I was like ‘damn, it’s too late to come in’. So I had to do a whole slow lap and I must have lost like 40 seconds or something with everything.
“But grateful that I was able to come back, and apologies to the team for the poor qualifying. I mean, there are strengths within our car, but sometimes it’s just really hard to get the performance out,” summed up Hamilton.
For Piastri, he was left out due to an unique strategy. He switched to hard tyres for his second stint and the safety car came at a time when he couldn’t pit. He eventually pitted and dropped outside the points before recovering to 10th.
“It was kind of just an awkward one,” said Piastri to media. “Neither of us had really committed to the corner that much. Then we both committed at the last minute, and then I was trying to back out of it, but we just ended up meeting in the middle, and I had a puncture from that. I don’t think it really hurt our race that much in all honesty.
“It would have been interesting to see if a one-stop could have worked from that point. It’s always hard to know, we could have been a sitting duck, like Gasly. A lot of things for a lot of people went wrong in that race and I was in the same boat. We were looking good for a long time, obviously it’s a shame that I knew I had to do an extra stop.
“Pace was very good, nice to get a bonus point for fastest lap as well. I think with everything that happened it was more or less the best we could have done, so yeah, happy with the pace and just a shame that we started so far back and a couple of things didn’t quite go our way,” summed up Piastri.
Here’s what happened at Turn 1: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2023-las-vegas-grand-prix-verstappen-snatches-the-lead-from-leclerc-at-turn-1-with-chaos-down-the-field-on-the-race-start.1782972479311894943.html
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