Learning From Max Verstappen’s $53,000 Mistake, Lewis Hamilton Devised Clever Tactic to “Download Information”

Published 10/22/2023, 5:18 AM EDT

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In the high-stakes world of F1, even the tiniest of mistakes can come at a hefty price. Just ask Max Verstappen, who learned this the hard way with a $53,000 mistake at the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix. But from setbacks come lessons, as Lewis Hamilton ingeniously leveraged his observation skills at the US GP, devising a strategic plan to gain an edge.

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Lewis Hamilton is currently a man on a mission. Following his poor display at the Qatar Grand Prix, he’s determined to put a strong showcase on one of his favorite tracks. Moreover, he’s also set to avenge the Abu Dhabi 2021 by getting one over Checo. This was quite evident at the qualifying and sprint of the United States Grand Prix. But what tactic does Hamilton have, upon learning from Verstappen’s past mistake?

Tactical mastery from Lewis Hamilton at US GP after leveraging Verstappen’s $53,000 mistake

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After the sprint, Hamilton was asked about his learnings after racing behind the mighty Red Bull. He stated, “It was a good position to be able to watch what the Red Bull’s car was doing, how it was behaving. I got to watch for a while, see where they’re particularly strong.” This astute observation from Hamilton is very important in his understanding of the major differences between Mercedes and RB.

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It’s no secret that Mercedes has had to play second-fiddle to Red Bull, for the past two seasons. This is why any input, specifically about the mighty RB19, benefits the Silver Arrows immensely. Hamilton further added, “At least to know where we are, if there’s anywhere where we’re stronger, and where we’re weaker, so I can download that to my team.

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If Mercedes and Toto Wolff can utilize these inputs from him, 2024 might present a surprising challenge to the current world constructor’s champion.

Furthermore, we must acknowledge Hamilton’s tactical mastery. Dedicated F1 enthusiasts recall the Brazilian Grand Prix 2021, where officials fined Max Verstappen $53,000 for physically inspecting Hamilton’s W12 rear wing. The Red Bull then joked that the stewards who find him can treat themselves to a nice outing. Seems like Hamilton finally got the last laugh, with this possibly coming to a full circle.

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Let’s hope that the seven-time world champion learned a thing or two and doesn’t let Verstappen have a hat-trick of race wins at COTA.

Will Hamilton’s tactics come to fruition in the US GP race?

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Whether or not Hamilton’s tactics come to fruition will mostly depend on how lap 1 goes for him. And how well can the W14 deal with tire degradation? Tire management will play a crucial role in deciding the outcome of this race. And who better than one of the best drivers in tire management, Lewis Hamilton?

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However, if Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc or Lando Norris manages to get a good start, there’s not much that Hamilton will be able to do. Especially when considering that the MCL60 and SF23 are comparatively more favored at Circuit of The Americas. Which is why the upcoming race will be quite exciting.

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As the United States Grand Prix approaches, Lewis Hamilton’s strategic tactics, inspired by Verstappen’s mishap, take center stage. While tire management remains crucial, Hamilton’s careful observation of Red Bull’s tactics could be the ultimate game-changer. Amidst anticipation and memories of Verstappen’s penalty, the race outcome hinges on Hamilton’s ability to navigate the Circuit of The Americas. All eyes are on whether his calculated moves will lead to a triumphant resurgence.

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Written by:

Adhiraj Dhyani

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Adhiraj Dhyani is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. He kick-started his online writing journey on Drivetribe, where he passionately covered F1 and automobile content. Adhiraj's love for Formula 1 dates back to 2015, and he's an ardent supporter of Sebastian Vettel as well as Lewis Hamilton.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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