After finishing the French GP in second position behind championship rival Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton admitted the only real strategic option he had was the one he followed during the race and thus has no regrets.
The French Grand Prix provided the fans with another amazing battle involving Verstappen and Hamilton. Just like in Barcelona, while one of the two drivers opted for an elongated second stint, the other went for an aggressive two-stop strategy. Once again, the two-stopper proved to be the winning option.
This time around, Hamilton was the one hunted and had to concede victory to his Red Bull opponent after the 23-year-old managed an incredible drive around the traffic to come back and eventually overtake the world champion on the 52nd lap of racing. Taking a retrospective look at his performance, the Britton was not disappointed, thinking he and his team took the best possible options on Sunday.
“He [Verstappen] was already quite far ahead so the only option I really had was to stay out. Because again, he was undercutting me, so he would come out ahead and I wouldn’t be able to get past as they were too quick on the straights,” Hamilton said.
“The only option was to stay out as long as possible and hope the tires held together.”
Talking about Verstappen’s late overtake and how he could have possibly managed it better, Hamilton answered the comments suggesting he could have defended harder or taken another line to defend his position more aggressively.
“It was pointless to defend any harder,” Hamilton pointed out. “Firstly, there’s marbles on the inside, so I didn’t want to make my tires any worse than they already were.”
“He had the DRS open, so if he didn’t pass me there, he would have passed me the straight afterward. It would have made zero difference and I just had no front end, so he would have got me either way.”
“I think you saw what happened to Valtteri, just ended up going straight on. So, there was no point messing up the tires anymore.”