F1 News

Hamilton on battle with teammate Russell: ‘Not cleanest of races by myself’

Hamilton on battle with teammate Russell: ‘Not cleanest of races by myself’

24 September - 09:03

Lewis Hamilton finished the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix in fifth place, after quite an eventful race for the Briton. Hamilton had an exciting battle with his teammate, George Russell as well, which was more tough than fair.

"We definitely had the closest battle for sure," Hamilton started to describe his clash with Russell to Viaplay. "Particularly in the first stint, I was struggling with the balance of the car. I took too much wing out of the car and I had quite a bit of understeer. So there were two times where George was particularly close and one of them I had a lock up and went wide. Not the cleanest of races for myself, but I picked it back up and the goal today was to get ahead of one of the Ferraris. That's my job and I think we did that, so that's fortunate," he explained.

Mercedes' problems at Suzuka

Speaking to Sky Sports, the seven-time world champion also explained how his car felt during the race. "Particularly where the car is such a handful and basically this is the exact same as last year so feeling wise, the car felt just the same as last year, it's bouncing and and sliding so that's tough given how much work we've done to progress and we're not any closer to the front. at least here. We did get ahead of one of the Ferraris which is great teamwork and great work from the guys in the pit stop and with the strategy so a long way to go."

Hamilton also explained that he has faith in his team to and they will find a solution. "There are things that I've asked for that we've gone in part of the direction for next year. I think all the points that George and I give have been fully listened to."

He continued: "The next six months has to be the greatest six months of development that we've ever ever had to close that gap, to be really banging on the door, but the evidence is there for the McLarens and we can't turn a blind eye to that. We've got to look at what they've done and go in that direction, that is the direction, but I truly believe my team can do it."

"This is a world championship team, we still are an amazing team and I have absolute faith in everyone but decisions that are made in this period of time are critical for our trajectory," the Briton concluded.