Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes were quick enough to score a podium finish in the Dutch Grand Prix after finishing the race in sixth place.
“It didn’t start off that well,” said Hamilton in response to a question from RaceFans. “But I’m pretty happy with the drive that I did to get back into the points and get sixth.
“It could have been higher for sure, if we made the right decision at the end of the day.”
Mercedes underestimated how long the rain would last at the start, and tried to leave Hamilton and George Russell out on slick tyres. “We should have pitted, but we didn’t,” Hamilton admitted. “We paid the price for that, and we did our best to come back.”
Hamilton faced an uphill climb after failing to reach Q3 yesterday and qualifying a lowly 13th. “I feel like today was redemption, in the sense of it was terrible yesterday,” he said.
“I managed to dial the car in a bit better today and overtook a bunch of people. To start 13th, I was dead last at one point, to get back up to sixth, I’m happy with that.”
He ended the race pressing Carlos Sainz Jnr hard but was unable to pass the Ferrari for fifth. “The tyres were good,” he said, “just Sainz was slow and it was hard to get past him.”
He started the race 10 places behind his team mate, but Hamilton said his lap times compared well with those of race-winner Max Verstappen, and he is convinced a better result was possible.
“I think today I had the pace [for the podium],” he said. “I was on pace with Max in the race, but we were just out of position.”
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2023 Dutch Grand Prix
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- “Too early to say” if podium signals return to form for Aston Martin – Alonso
- Verstappen makes history with unbeaten hat-track in first home races
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- Ferrari had the “sixth or seventh fastest car” at Zandvoort – Sainz