Hamilton Hails Verstappen's "Undeniable" Speed in Austin Sprint

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, had an eventful weekend at the Austin circuit.

by Faruk Imamovic
Hamilton Hails Verstappen's "Undeniable" Speed in Austin Sprint
© Getty Images Sport/Rudy Carezzevoli

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, had an eventful weekend at the Austin circuit. Though he secured an impressive second place in the Sprint, it was Max Verstappen's remarkable pace that caught everyone's attention, including Hamilton’s.

A Spirited Race in Texas

Hamilton's weekend in the Lone Star State began on a promising note. After clinching third place in Friday's qualifying, he maintained his momentum with a third-place finish in the Shootout. But it was during the Sprint where Hamilton truly shined.

He executed a stunning maneuver at Turn 1 on the very first lap, overtaking Charles Leclerc and propelling himself to the second spot. Reminiscing about the exhilarating 19-lap Sprint, Hamilton remarked, “That was a fun race.

Good start down to Turn 1. Good battle with Charles and then I was trying early on to get closer to Max, but their pace is just undeniable at the moment." The Brit expressed satisfaction with his performance and the improvements his team had made.

However, he candidly acknowledged the challenge posed by Verstappen, saying, “I was trying to lean on [Verstappen], but he was just cruising. It was impressive to watch”.

Verstappen's Pace: A Concern for Hamilton?

Hamilton's praise for Verstappen's pace wasn't just lip service.

The Dutch driver's performance has given the Mercedes team plenty to think about. Hamilton shared, “We have made an improvement with the car, still a long, long way to go. We need a lot more than what we’ve brought but I know the guys are working on it”.

While Verstappen is slated to start Sunday's race from the sixth position, Hamilton, Leclerc, and Lando Norris will have the chance to battle it out for the lead upfront. Yet, Hamilton was under no illusion about the challenge they'd face from Verstappen.

“I think ultimately, he will be breathing down our necks before too long with the pace that he had today." Hamilton remains hopeful for a thrilling race ahead, envisaging an intense battle with Leclerc and Norris. He concluded, “We are all quite similar in pace so hopefully we get to have a good battle tomorrow.

If we can all keep Max behind that would be awesome but if not, no worries”. With the stage set for a gripping contest, the racing world waits with bated breath to see who will emerge victorious in Austin.

Lewis Hamilton