Lewis Hamilton’s fastest lap raises questions at Mexican Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton proved there was a lot more speed in the Mercedes for Sunday’s race with his lightning-fast pace to set the fastest lap in the Mexican Grand Prix.

According to F1 pundit Peter Windsor, Hamilton’s spectacular last lap would have caused some snickers among his Mercedes teammates.

After only his second career disqualification due to a technical issue in the US, Hamilton rebounded well in the Mexican race, finishing second behind Red Bull Racing’s dominant Max Verstappen after starting from sixth on the grid..

Could Lewis Hamilton have gone faster in Mexico?

On the very last lap, Hamilton stole the bonus point for fastest lap by setting a record of 1:21.334s, three tenths quicker than Verstappen’s previous best on Lap 40. This lit up the timing screens.

Hamilton’s unexpected acceleration caught former Williams team manager Windsor off guard, implying that he could have reached his peak speed much sooner in his last season.

“Lewis set the fastest lap [and] that will have irritated Max a bit because he always loves to set fastest lap and, at that point, he had it – and Lewis set it on the last lap,” the race commentator said on YouTube.

“That brought a smile obviously to everybody’s face in the Mercedes garage – and certainly Lewis enjoyed that – but it was a weird thing.

“This is Lewis looking after the tyres and going a little bit slower than Max virtually everywhere, apart from one [lap] – and on the last lap he does a 21.3!

“It’s a cliché to say: ‘Well, where did that come from?’ – but it has to be asked because I suppose you would say in the debrief afterwards when it’s all quiet: ‘21.3, Lewis! What were you doing [for the rest of the race]?’

“Of course, he would say: ‘Well, I wouldn’t have been able to do that 21.3 unless I’d been looking after the tyres the way I had in the previous 10-12 laps’ – and that probably is the correct answer.

“But it’s an interesting one, isn’t it, how quick he was? But then again, I suppose we don’t know how quick Max would have been if he’d had to respond to that 21.3. As it was, he had no chance because it was on the last lap of the race.

“So it was a little bit of an unanswered question there [and] I suppose this is the way to put it: if Lewis had known that the tyres were going to last to the point where he could do a 21.3 on the last lap, how much quicker would he have driven – how much more would he have pushed the tyres – over the previous 12 laps?

That’s a thought-provoking query. Since he can never predict how long the tires will last, of course, the answer is unknown to him and is only hypothetical. There was always uncertainty about the future of those media.

Lewis had the fastest lap to his credit and came in second place, almost 14 seconds behind Max, with no problems in the parc ferme!

Having won at least one race in each of his first 15 years in Formula One starting in 2007, Hamilton is getting closer to having a second straight winless season with just three rounds left in 2023.

His last triumph came in Saudi Arabia during the penultimate round of the 2021 season, seven days before Verstappen deposed him under extremely contentious conditions in Abu Dhabi.

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