Lewis Hamilton reflects on ‘awkward’ Mexico Grand Prix after ‘boos all day’

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, among the fans. Mexico, October 2022. Credit: Alamy
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, among the fans. Mexico, October 2022. Credit: Alamy

Lewis Hamilton was booed after the Mexican Grand Prix, explaining it has been “awkward” as this had been happening all day.

With pole-sitter Max Verstappen retaining his lead at the start, while Hamilton took P2 from team-mate George Russell, it seemed like a battle between the 2021 title rivals possibly was coming our way.

That did not come to fruition though, Hamilton crossing the line P2 for the fourth time this season.

But as he exited his car and went over to do his post-race interview in front of the grandstands, boos could be heard ringing out, directed in Hamilton.

The seven-time World Champion would reveal that people had been booing him all day, which had made the experience at the Mexican Grand Prix “awkward”.

This is something which sadly has become increasingly common in Formula 1 over recent years, Hamilton or Verstappen often the recipient depending on which nation they are in.

“This has been an amazing crowd, definitely a bit awkward this time around,” said Hamilton. “Boos all day, but nonetheless I have so much love for Mexico and for the people here and what a great race event they put on this weekend.”

While Verstappen started the race on the soft tyre, Hamilton began on the medium rubber, hoping that this would work in his favour as he kept Verstappen within sight during that opening stint.

“I was so close I think in that first stint,” Hamilton commented. But once he and team-mate Russell went onto the hard tyre, Verstappen switching to mediums, Verstappen was able to pull away and take the win with a margin of 15 seconds.

“But I think the Red Bull’s just clearly too fast today, and ultimately maybe they had the better tyre strategy,” Hamilton added.

To Hamilton’s point, on several occasions he had questioned Mercedes’ choice to switch him onto the hard tyre, believing it was not the right call. Russell was also struggling.

Mercedes’ thought process was that the yellow-marked medium tyres would drop off for Verstappen, allowing Hamilton to close in at the end. It did not work out that way.

“I’m not sure it was the right tyre at the end,” Hamilton reiterated. “I thought we should have started on the soft, but obviously we had the opposite tyre.

“It was okay in the first stint, but that hard tyre was just at offset, so congratulations to Max.”

Read more: Max Verstappen says people have told me Lewis Hamilton doesn’t use my name

 

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