Hamilton praises "sensible" Leclerc


Following their epic battle, Lewis Hamilton heaped praise on Charles Leclerc whilst taking a side swipe at Max Verstappen.

Even without the 'benefit' of the Drive to Survive treatment, there is no doubt that for years to come, fans will want to watch those epic laps following the safety car period during the 2022 British Grand Prix, and the epic three-way fight between Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

As the three battled, with Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris all too keen to pick up the pieces, time and time again they passed and repassed one another.

The highlight - of many highlights - had to be Leclerc's move on Hamilton going around the outside at Copse, and at race end the seven-time world champion paid tribute to his rival, whilst taking a side swipe at Max Verstappen, with whom he had clashed at the same corner twelve months earlier.

"Charles did a great job, what a great battle," said the Mercedes driver. "He is a very sensible driver, clearly a lot different to what I experienced last year.

"At Copse for example, the two of us went through there with no problem," he added. "What a battle. Really, really amazing weekend."

In both cases, Hamilton was on the inside at Copse, however, while last year Verstappen went off into the gravel, this time around Leclerc kept it on the black stuff as the pair rounded the right-hander at 180 mph mere inches apart.

Though given a 10s time penalty last year, Hamilton went on to win the race.

Following the issues that have plagued Mercedes this season, for a few brief moments it looked as though Hamilton might pull off a miracle and give his fans another home win, but as he subsequently explained, it was not to be.

"Definitely, for a while it was feeling on," he said. "But a bunch of things went against us. The start, we got up to third then they put us back to fifth. Then I lost ground to Lando, so I spent a bunch of laps trying to get past him.

"Then the gap was five or six seconds to the Ferraris. But I was doing good time, catching them up, I did a good long stint and I thought: 'Yes, maybe we can fight for a win here'.

"But unfortunately the gap was too big and the pit stop was not very quick. Then at the end, I just struggled with the warm-up and lost out to two cars. It was tough today."

Nonetheless, asked if he'd enjoyed the afternoon, the Briton was in no doubt: "I definitely did. That was very reminiscent of the karting days, and I feel like that's Formula 1 at its best. The fact that we were able to follow and dice like that lap by lap is a testament to the direction I think that we're now in. I was just grateful that I could be in the battle, because I've not been in that fight for a while."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone here.

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Published: 04/07/2022
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