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On a very complicated weekend, Lewis Hamilton finished the Dutch Grand Prix in sixth position. While the result seems okay for the seven-time World Champion, much more was achievable for him.
How the race unfolded for Hamilton and Mercedes
After showing promising pace during the free practice sessions on Friday, Hamilton had a bad day yesterday. He had trouble with traffic, as he was blocked by other cars on a couple of occasions. It proved costly, as he was eliminated in Q2 and started just thirteenth.
The situation did not improve early on in the race, in fact it got worse. Mercedes made wrong predictions regarding the rain shower that arrived in the early laps of the race, which affected both drivers. They stayed out on slick tyres for way too long and they were the last cars to pit for intermediate tyres and were buried at the back for the first few laps.
They both recovered well after that though, slowly making progress through the field. When the race got red-flagged following an accident for Zhou Guanyu, the two Mercedes cars were in the points; Hamilton in sixth and George Russell in eighth, despite the former making a trip through the gravel trap at the first corner.
While Hamilton tried to overtake Sainz and gain another position, Russell had contact with Lando Norris, suffered a puncture and had to pit for repairs. That dropped him well outside the points, as he finished seventeenth.
💬 “Thank you for the great job with the pit stops. Not the day we wanted today but let’s keep pushing”. – Lewis.
LH never gave up, a solid recovery drive. 👏 pic.twitter.com/Fd5J2ioHgD
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) August 27, 2023
Comments from Hamilton after Dutch GP
The driver of car #44 was unable to pass the Ferrari and crossed the line in sixth, after a chaotic race. After the Grand Prix concluded, he spoke to Sky Sports F1 about his afternoon:
In those conditions, if we’d made the right call, I had the pace to be challenging the top two, I think we would have been challenging Max if I’m really honest.
Particularly when we got to the dry, pace-wise I think we weren’t terribly far off. I’m not saying that we’d beat them, but I think we would have been close.
I feel like today was redemption, in the sense of it was terrible yesterday, we managed to dial the car in a bit better today and overtook a bunch of people.
I think today I had the pace. I was on pace with Max in the race, we were just out of position.
To start 13th, I was dead last at one point, to get back up to sixth, yeah, happy with that.
This was a costly result for Hamilton in terms of the championship as well. Entering the race just a point behind Fernando Alonso in the battle for third position, he is now twelve points back, after the Spaniard’s second place finish in the Dutch Grand Prix.
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