July 23, 2024

Lewis Hamilton was stripped of his second-placed finish at the United States Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton managed to back up his latest warning to Max Verstappen at the United States Grand Prix despite being disqualified from the race after the chequered flag. The 38-year-old was only able to celebrate his podium finish for a matter of hours, with the FIA later finding Mercedes guilty of running his car too low to the ground.

It was a hugely disappointing blow for Hamilton, who deservedly took second place after giving Verstappen a serious run for his money. A late charge up the field saw him move within two seconds of the lead and it might have been an even better result if he had a few more laps to work his magic.

Hamilton’s performance largely backed up his comments earlier last week, when he suggested he was “one of the only drivers” capable of challenging Verstappen. The latter has won the last two Drivers’ Championship titles but Hamilton clearly believes he is still capable of beating him at the highest stakes.

Of course he will need a faster car to keep up with Verstappen all season. Mercedes are trailing Red Bull on pace this year, but were quick to look at Circuit of the Americas after introducing the latest innovations in their campaign.

Their improvements over the weekend allowed Hamilton to prove he is still a force to be reckoned with, especially when given a car fast enough to challenge for the win. The Silver Arrows will therefore strive to continue improving to give Hamilton what he needs to battle Verstappen next season.

However, there is still work to be done regarding their strategy after leaving Hamilton in no man’s land at the end of his first term. He stayed longer than expected because of tire wear as Mercedes attempted to implement the radical one-stop system, only to reverse his decision a few laps later in a less than ideal scenario .

That cost Hamilton a vital track position, which prompted Verstappen to admit rival Mercedes could have beaten him to the checkered flag with “a better strategy”. The Dutchman could easily have been there another day, as he was carefully dealing with a braking problem in the final stages of the race.

Only time will tell whether Hamilton can mount a title challenge next season after showing on Sunday that he can still scare Verstappen into challenging for the win.

It will likely depend on whether Mercedes can return to its former glory, with the Silver Arrows still fighting an uphill battle in their bid to topple Red Bull’s dominance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *