Max Verstappen has explained exactly what happened from his point of view during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix where he pushed Hamilton wide to defend the lead during the Round 20 battle for points.
On Lap 48, Verstappen and Hamilton went wheel-to-wheel at Turn 4 in the epic title fight that will likely go to the bitter end of the season – and both ran off track as Verstappen tried to retain first place.
The stewards noted the incident but later admitted there was no need for investigation – a decision that was met with protest by the Mercedes team.
Hamilton managed a successful overtake on Lap 59 and took the lead. He remained out front as the chequered flag was raised and closed the Championship gap to 14 points.
Speaking after the race, the Red Bull’s Verstappen said the team “tried everything we could, and said that “at the end, we just missed a little bit of pace, but we gave it all today and it was a lot of fun.
“We had a good start, that was important to get ahead [of Bottas] and from then it was trying to manage my pace and then the Safety car and then the Virtual Safety Car for the debris.
“At one point Lewis was behind me, I could see there was a lot of pace. It was already quite tough to match that.
“We did all the right calls in trying to cover. Not much to say about that. We were a bit too slow.
“I mean we both of course tried to be ahead into the corner so I braked a bit late to get that position. I was on the edge of grip. That’s why I think I was already on the apex and it’s a safer way of running a bit wide there.
“In a way, I was happy stewards decided we could keep on racing. I could see the racing, in general, was really good today.
“This weekend they were quick on the straights,” he added.
“It’s not ideal when they sail past you and that’s all you can do. Of course, I like to win. Second today, with the defence I did, is also satisfying.
“You can see one weekend it’s good for you, the other it’s good for them. Hopefully, like that for the rest of the season.”