Lewis Hamilton Apologizes to Mercedes Following Verstappen’s Late Steal at United States GP Qualifying

Published 10/23/2021, 7:03 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after qualifying in pole position as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who qualified in second place, walks by REUTERS/Brian Snyder


When F1 flagged off the United States Grand Prix at COTA, there were visible signs of Lewis Hamilton snatching his 6th pole position of the season on Saturday afternoon amidst struggling Max Verstappen and a penalty-impending Valtteri Bottas.

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But, little did he know that the Dutchman was never going to give up that easy. And rightfully so, Verstappen stole the pole position from Hamilton during the closing stages of qualifying. To make things worse, Hamilton has found himself sandwiched between the two Red Bull drivers.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton waves after qualifying in second place REUTERS/Brian Snyder

And that’s not it. Hamilton’s only hope of defeating both the Red Bull duo was using his teammate, Bottas’ help. However, with the Finn set to drop down the order into P9, the Briton will be all on his own, potentially throughout the race on Sunday.

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Hence, the fact that Hamilton couldn’t make it work on an afternoon where the pole position was absolutely necessary, he sported a sorry face following the chequered flag.

Lewis Hamilton apologizes to his team

Following the final part of qualifying, Hamilton took to his team radio to apologize for failing to defeat Verstappen. “Sorry guys!Hamilton said. The Briton further dug deeper and questioned his race engineer where he lost the lap time to his rival.

Where did I lose all that time?” he questioned.  His race engineer responded, “A little bit turn 1, a little bit 7, and yeah, 19, 20.

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Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during qualifying REUTERS/Brian Snyder

It was certainly a shocking comeback from Verstappen at COTA, especially after what happened in Turkey and even on Friday in COTA itself. The Dutchman was extremely frustrated throughout FP1 and FP2, as he struggled to match the lap times of the Mercedes duo and his very own teammate, Sergio Perez.

Well, that was an astonishing resurgence from the title contender. He just isn’t letting Hamilton gather a breathing space. Now, with Verstappen back on pole, the pressure is back on the 7-time world champion, and the latter needs an exemplary start on Sunday to crush his title rival.

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But, the question is, will Hamilton be able to do so? Can he fend off Red Bull’s double-trouble to clinch his 6th race win in Austin?

Watch Story: Lewis Hamilton’s Incredible Car Collection

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Rohit Kumar

1441 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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