Lewis Hamilton has clarified his criticism of Valtteri Bottas, saying that his words were taken out of context.

Hamilton lost the Mexican GP to his title rival Max Verstappen from a promising position. He was second on the grid with Bottas on pole, but it only took one turn for Verstappen to take the lead.

All three drivers got off to bright starts, but there was a glaring space Bottas left for Verstappen on the left. He took full advantage of it and outbraked the Finn to sweep past him and into the lead.

From then on, it was all Super Max, as Hamilton was left chasing shadows. The defending champion finished P2, but conceded more ground to his rival. After the race, he suggested that Bottas “left the door open” for Verstappen.

Hamilton clarified his criticism of Bottas, and said that he didn’t mean it in a patronising way at all.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas (left) and Lewis Hamilton after the qualifying session in Mexico City on Nov 6, 2021.
Hamilton (right) and Bottas (left) at the Mexican GP. Source: EPA

Taking to Instagram after his race, Hamilton wrote on his story as quoted by The Straits Times, “Yesterday I said that VB left the door open and naturally people will jump to criticise.

“We are a team and we win and we lose as a team. There is not one single person responsible for winning or losing, we do it together good or bad.

“You may be able to beat us but you can’t break us. Onto the next one Valtteri, let’s keep pushing bro.”

Onto the next one

There are four races left to go, and the first of those is in Brazil. It will take place at Sao Paulo, and is a must-win for Hamilton and Mercedes.

Failure to take victory here or edge Verstappen out in points collected could mean a very uphill battle to fight during the Middle East triple-header. Those tracks are relative unknowns in terms of favourites, so it’s still very uncertain as to who will have the advantage.

Read more: F1 journalist reveals intent behind Hamilton’s ‘disrespectful’ jibe at Perez during home race

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