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Hamilton: They did a better job

NEWS STORY
06/09/2021

They were faster, they did a better job all round, admits Hamilton as Verstappen retakes title lead.

While Max Verstappen no doubt benefitted from the crowd boost that used to spur on the likes of Nigel Mansell, Mercedes didn't exactly help its cause, as despite the Dutchman not having a teammate to rely on for support, the German team failed to capitalise whilst going the wrong way on strategy.

Twice Mercedes went for the undercut with Hamilton, but both times Red Bull immediately reacted. However, other than going the wrong way on tyre strategy, much to the Briton's dismay, the German team was compromised when Valtteri Bottas was unable to hold off Verstappen after the Finn inherited the lead having been left out for a longer opening stint.

"We had, I think, a sniff of an undercut there," Toto Wolff told Sky Sports. "But we didn't time it right. At the end, you're always more clever.

"We didn't expect them to go on the hard tyre because it was an unknown," he said of Verstappen's second stop, which meant the Dutchman could go all the way to the end, albeit on a slower tyre. "We didn't drive the hard tyre on Friday, and we thought we might be pushing them early with the soft. But it is what it is.

"The hard tyre was a bit of a gamble," he admitted. "You could have seen that on the Ferraris that it was going well, but it was unknown territory because none of us had really run it. We didn't run it at least."

"They just did a better job all round," said Hamilton. "I think they definitely were faster today.

"There wasn't really a lot that I could do to do the times that he was putting in from stint one already," he admitted.

Other than tyre strategy, Hamilton was irked by the timing of his stops, complaining that he was put out in traffic.

"Pit stops needed to be on point, strategy needed to be on point, and traffic also," he said, "but none of those three were ideal today.

"Nonetheless, as a team, we got second and third, got some really good points on them in the constructors', hat's a super important one.

"We'll come back next week fighting."

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