Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Circuit of the Americas, 2017

Hamilton: Vettel killed his tyres in the first stint

2017 United States Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he was able to overtake Sebastian Vettel in the United States Grand Prix because his title rival was too hard on his tyres.

Hamilton lost his advantage from pole position within seconds of the race starting. “When Sebastian got a better start than me I didn’t know how it was really going to go,” said Hamilton, adding he “didn’t feel I was ever on the back foot.”

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Circuit of the Americas, 2017
2017 United States GP in pictures
However within six laps Hamilton was by into the lead. He said afterwards Vettel had unnecessarily over-stressed his tyres.

“I noticed I was able to remain relatively close,” said Hamilton. “Initially I was thinking maybe I’d have to stay close and wait for the pit stops.”

“But then I could see him pushing and I’m thinking ‘I’m pretty good on my tyres right now, he’s going too quick through that corner, he’s going to kill his tyres’.”

“And that’s what he did, he was driving too quick through those corners and he didn’t have to. The temperatures would have been going up. If he had backed off in those places he would have been able to keep me behind, I’m certain, but he didn’t.”

Hamilton said Vettel “made a few mistakes, he was locking up, and I’m like ‘I got this’.”

“That’s a great feeling when you have that positivity and that confidence,” he added.

Hamilton’s ninth victory of the year means he is guaranteed the title if he finishes any of the remaining races in the top five.

2017 United States Grand Prix

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  • 28 comments on “Hamilton: Vettel killed his tyres in the first stint”

    1. Surprising, since Mercs dont like being behind. Hamilton on another level at the moment

      1. I think Lewis did good in those corners to take it easy saving his tyres. The problem for Mercedes is when they want to overtake right away stressing their tyres.

      2. Hamilton is on the level of 2017WDC since Singapore, that’s the level he’s at.

    2. I don’t believe that. Mercedes had the upper hand in this track. Period.

      1. Bot is in serious trouble with his future at Merc, another poor effort!!! Shame because like many others l rated him against Lewis..

        1. I predict that after Hamilton secures WDC,Bottas is let to excel again.Merc handles that much smoother than Ferrari.

      2. As shown by Bottas finishing in P5….

        1. Bottas’ magic button was sabotaged by a ferrari mechanic before the race to downplay his chances :)

          1. or ferrari mechanics added some water into bottas’ “burning” oil reserve to slow down his burn rate!

        2. BOT underdelivered. We can agree HAM & VET are better than their partners. Ferrari has closed the gap and it is better in some circuits, but on average Mercedes is still ahead.

          1. Even VET admits bungling his tyre management in the first stint, which effectively killed his chances of a win .

            What are you on about?

            1. haha… to be honest, I think the mercs are better on this track. Tyre management is one thing but we can see it through the different stints after pitstops, the merc is still the faster car

            2. @riggerus
              Hahahaha, so even when Ham-fans add a link, they still have the audacity to make a complete side step or two away from reality, just to hold up their flawed image of a ‘flawless, superior-to-his-peers-driver’. Hahahaha.

    3. Or to quote Vettel (almost): “There are also some weaknesses (in Vettel) which I believe we did use to our advantage this year and hopefully we continue doing so.”

      Touché.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        23rd October 2017, 1:00

        @david-br I cannot think of anything Hamilton has done wrong this season. Vettel, on the other hand…

        1. Vettel had one bad moment this season and that was his red mist in Baku. His DNF in Singapore was partly his fault, but also just bad luck imo. Hamilton He then had to drive from the back of the grid in Malaysia due to an engine failure. He then had another DNF in Japan because of an engine failure. He also had to drive from the back again because of Verstappen chopping off his front wing in Canada. He also got screwed in China and Spain from safety cars. Hamilton has been brilliant this season, but Vettel has had a lot of poor luck.

        2. I was stuck trying to imagine where Vettel was imagining these Hamilton weaknesses this season too. Maybe just hot air. I think Ferrari again could have had the faster car during the race, only Vettel’s set-up was compromised by the chassis switch. Also he not only pushed to ultra-softs too much, he let Hamilton pass too easily. All elements that added up to another Hamilton race win given he put in a perfect weekend. Ferrari and Mercedes have been neck and neck all season, that hasn’t changed. It’s these minor and bigger errors by Vettel and Ferrari that have lost them the title.

          1. Perhaps he was referring to Monaco and Russia.

            1. It’s not really clear what the weakness was at those tracks. And if there was one, did Vettel and Ferrari really exploit it? I think it’s just bravado from Vettel. He tagged in Hamilton’s ‘weakness’ to irritate him a bit and deflect from his own very clear and heavily criticized weak moments this season. Fair enough. All point of the psychological warfare. But the real problem has been the Mercedes car at some tracks.

              Actually I think this has been Hamilton’s best season. He’s had more stunning races in the past, maybe, but he’s had several truly exceptional qualifications, has managed the tyres and car perfectly, and has been calm throughout, even when losing races at the start, even with the car’s weird performance at some tracks, and even when Vettel crashed into him at Baku. It’s been a stellar season, and had to be given how quick Vettel and the Ferrari have been. Vettel, I should add, has been exceptional at various points too, including P2 at Austin. But he just hasn’t been at the same consistent level and made mistakes that cost him a much closer fight. With the next two or three tracks likely to favour Ferrari, that may become more evident.

        3. @mbr-9: “I cannot think of anything Hamilton has done wrong this season. Vettel, on the other hand…”
          So very true, but if you are really looking for something: going for 5-6 warm-up laps in Monaco in Q2 without having a banker lap.

      2. @david-br lol.. that was good one!

    4. Hmm he perhaps did hurt his tyres a little in the opening stint but it was obvious that the moment Hamilton got into DRS range he was past such is the straightline speed advantage of the merc over the Ferrari.

      1. Exactly. 30kph difference on the straight before hamilton passed vettel into the corner, I don’t think there’s much point in fighting it as the top speed difference with DRS is too much.

        1. It’s not just with DRS the merc had been monstering the Ferrari on the straights all season.

          I recall in Baku towards end of race when Lewis was behind seb he exited the last corner before the full throttle stretch at end of lap 2 seconds behind and by time got to line the gap was 0.7. He gained 1.3 seconds without DRS.

          In Russia even though seb got pole he was half a second down at turn 1 to the mercs on their fastest laps.

          1. To me this is just Lewis showing Vettel how to get done what he couldn’t do at Spa when he was tailing HAM.

            In both instances the car behind has the pace to stay in touch with the frontrunner, and the opportunity to overtake. HAM stifles VET effectively in the previous, and patiently lets VET eat thru his tyres before cantering past an enfeebled defence.

            Racecraft won this, gentlemen, not just pace.

            1. …and patiently lets VET eat thru his tyres

              in the latter**

            2. yea.. i think Vettel would’ve got past if he had 30kph advantage in the straight at Spa.. too bad the Merc’s engine has more power.

            3. The main difference being that SPA is a shorter straight, with Merc being faster without DRS than Ferrari WITH DRS..
              This is Hamilton in his usual political-arrogant style, advertising how great a driver he is.

              Vettel never had a chance against the Merc in a track with ample overtaking opportunities – period..

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