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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Hamilton dismisses Vegas F1 criticism after “higher race than most”

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F1’s extravagant and VIP-oriented return to the playing haven raised eyebrows amongst F1’s conventional fanbase.

Early teething points with the observe that ended Thursday’s FP1 after nine minutes and led to a delayed FP2 that was closed to spectators, additional fuelled impressions that the sequence was placing industrial issues over the sporting product.

However Saturday night’s action-packed bonanza on the Las Vegas streets put paid to these issues, with the low-grip circumstances and lengthy straights offering a spellbinding race from begin to end that was gained by Max Verstappen after a race-long struggle with Charles Leclerc.

Whereas Verstappen had been brazenly uncomfortable with the occasion’s concentrate on off-track leisure and the hype created across the occasion, Mercedes driver Hamilton had been one in every of its staunchest defenders and he felt Saturday’s race had vindicated that assist.

“The race was nice. It was top-of-the-line races,” he stated.

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“So many individuals, all of the media, everybody has been so adverse about this race and in regards to the present and all that, I used to be [like] simply let it’s and let’s examine the way it goes. Nice race! That is like Baku, however higher.

When requested if F1 had achieved a superb job balancing sport and leisure, he replied: “I have not seen any leisure so I do not actually know. I’ve not been watching that facet of issues.

Photograph by: Erik Junius

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W14

“However as I stated, there’s simply been plenty of negativity about having three grands prix within the States and folks speaking about bringing again {old} traditional races from Europe.

“However this has offered a greater race than a lot of the tracks we go to. So, hats off to the those who run the present and might’t wait to come back again and hopefully have a greater race right here subsequent 12 months.”

Hamilton’s race was derailed by contact with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri on Lap 16 of fifty, which pressured each drivers to make an additional pitstop to cope with a puncture.

When requested how a lot greater up he might have completed than seventh, he stated: “I don’t know what could be attainable, however I am grateful to get a few factors at the very least. However it might have been a podium, for certain.”

Further reporting by Mandy Curi

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