When asked how gut-wrenching it was to lose out on the victory in the final laps of the French Grand Prix to his closest competitor, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton insisted; “It’s not gut-wrenching at all”.
Speaking at the driver conference after Round 7 at the Circuit Paul Ricard, he said; “I think we did a great job today. It just didn’t work out but I don’t particularly feel… I’m not massively disappointed.
“I think I did the best job I could today and, of course there were things we could have done slightly better but overall they’ve been quicker than us all weekend so it’s a true reflection of the pace they have.”
The British world champion admitted that issues with his W12 experienced in Practice, weren’t much improved for the race, noting its inconsistency.
“Compared to practice I wouldn’t say that it felt much better”, he said.
“In the race, as Max was saying, it was gusty, it was slippery, so it was quite tricky out there with the conditions and so I would say today, condition-wise, it was worse for us and that made it really challenging from all the way around the lap.
“It was just inconsistent all the way around the lap.”
When probed on the decision to stick with a one-stop, while Red Bull opted for a new set of Pirellis on Lap 32, giving Verstappen the advantage in those crucial final rounds, Hamilton admitted;
“I’m sure if we look, with hindsight, for sure if we had stopped earlier, before they had stopped, come out ahead, and just gone onto a two-stop, probably could have won the race – but it would have still been very difficult.
“Their pace was generally very, very strong.
“I was able to keep them at bay when he was behind me but if he had not made a mistake in Turn 1, they would have just led the race all the way, probably.”