P2 in Austin Sprint race for Hamilton:”I’m really happy to be back on the podium”

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Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Five time winner at the Circuit of the Americas, Lewis Hamilton put in another strong performance at the Austin circuit in Saturday’s Sprint race, starting in third he managed to pass Charles Leclerc for second place on the opening lap and even put pressure on reigning champion Max Verstappen for a time before ultimately coming home just shy of 10 seconds behind Dutchman to stand on the second step of the podium on Saturday evening in Texas.

Enjoying some support from the US crowd, the seven time world champion said in the Parc Ferme interviews that he was happy to be a little closer to the all conquering RB19:

“That was a fun race. Good start down to Turn 1, and a 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. But I’m happy we’re a little bit closer. We’ve still got a long way to go to be able to eke the pace that he was doing throughout the race. But nonetheless, I’m really happy to be back on the podium.”

However in the Grand Prix he has to contend with the Verstappen coming from behind after his final flying lap was deleted in Friday’s qualifying. can he keep him at bay?

“I mean, ultimately, I think he will be breathing down our necks before too long, with the pace that he had today. But I think that will open it up for a good fight with Charles and Lando, we’re all quite similar in pace. So hopefully we get to have a good battle tomorrow. And if we can all keep Max behind that’d be awesome. But if not, no worries.”

The British driver seemed to relish the sort of racing he enjoyed with the Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc:

“I was just hoping I was able to pull-up alongside him, and race him, and we were racing all the way down to Turn Three. He was like in my blind spot, so I was a little bit worried at that point. And then, once I was past him, I was just trying to get onto… it was really good, just to be up at the front with these guys. They’re incredibly talented, and both still have such bright futures ahead of them, so to be out there racing against strong drivers like this is what every driver dreams of.”

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Hamilton will need to use all his experience in the Grand Prix to achieve a repeat podium on Sunday and see off the challenge of the McLaren of Norris, both Ferrari’s and of course Verstappen.