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Formula 1: Hamilton plays down defeat

Mercedes’ seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton played down the pain of his latest defeat by Formula One leader Max Verstappen in France on Sunday and said the race was a real reflection of Red Bull’s pace.

 

The Briton had won at Le Castellet in 2018 and 2019, with no race last year due to Covid-19, but his hopes of a hat-trick ended when resurgent Red Bull out-smarted the champions on strategy.

 

The seventh race of the season was a reversal of the Spanish Grand Prix in May when Hamilton hunted down Verstappen, who said then that he felt like a sitting duck, in the closing laps to win.

This time it was the champion who was on the receiving end as Verstappen made a second pitstop and used his fresher tyres to make up the time and overhaul Hamilton on the penultimate lap.

 

Asked how gut-wrenching the feeling had been, Hamilton — now 12 points behind his Dutch rival — said it had not been at all.

 

“I think we did a great job today and it just didn’t work out,” he added.

Herald

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