Lewis Hamilton had a quick start at the Mexican Grand Prix. However, unfortunately, that was what hurt the Mercedes driver the most according to Martin Brundle.
Martin Brundle is of the opinion that Lewis Hamilton’s start to the Mexican GP was too good for his own good. This is because his start made him unable to get behind teammate Valtteri Bottas and catch his slipstream on the long straight down to turn 1.
The seven-time world champion and the Finn gave Mercedes their first front-row lockout of the season in Mexico. Behind them were the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Going down into turn 1, Hamilton got off to a good start and launched forwards. However, the good start then meant that he could not get behind his teammate’s car to use the tow to get more speed down the main straight. Max Verstappen was able to stay behind Bottas and subsequently benefit from his tow.
Verstappen lead the race going into turn 1 when Bottas braked early and inadvertently created room for the Dutch driver to pass. The Red Bull driver went on to win the race as well with Hamilton finishing in second.
Brundle spoke about the race in his column and looked at Hamilton’s start in hindsight.
“All eyes were on the front two rows, and unfortunately for Hamilton he got away a little too well on the dirty side of the grid, such that he couldn’t really tuck in behind his teammate.”
He then mentioned Max and what Bottas might have intended to do when racing on the straight.
“Verstappen could (get the tow) for a while and then pulled left to make it three abreast. Bottas didn’t want to give the Red Bull a slipstream and so just drove in a straight line.”
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“This perfectly opened up the space, angle, and much cleaner racing line for Verstappen to brake later and sweep around the outside of both Mercedes. Bottas’ track position effectively pinned Hamilton to the grubby inside and very tight line.”
“He was then cautious on the brakes presumably to let Hamilton through and was clouted by Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren which arrived rather hot and locked up into the braking zone and first apex.”
Hamilton and Verstappen know nothing is decided yet.
With the win in Mexico, Verstappen has a lead of 19 points over the British driver in the Driver’s championship. With just four more races to go, both the drivers know that things can go either way according to Brundle.
“Max knows very well, just as Lewis does, how quickly this can all turn around given he only has the equivalent of one second place and a fastest lap points advantage.
“On Sunday race morning back at Silverstone in July, for example, he led by 33 points. The crash that day turned the season on its head, and Max is smart enough to keep his hands firmly in his pockets rather than even begin to reach out towards his first world title.”