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Lewis Hamilton admits it will be ‘difficult’ to stop Max Verstappen from winning F1 world title

Lewis Hamilton admits that it will be “ difficult ” to prevent Max Verstappen from winning the F1 world title after the Red Bull star’s victory in the US extended his lead at the top of the standings to 12 points.

  • Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton for first place at the United States Grand Prix on Sunday
  • Hamilton has admitted that it could be difficult to stop Verstappen in the next few races
  • The battle between the two pilots will resume in Mexico next week


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Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he is prepared for an uphill battle to prevent Max Verstappen from continuing to extend his championship lead.

Hamilton is now a dozen points behind Verstappen after the Dutch driver claimed an impressive victory at the United States Grand Prix in Austin.

And as the next rounds in Mexico and Brazil are expected to suit Verstappen’s Red Bull machinery, Hamilton has every right to be concerned that a record eighth world championship is slipping away.

Lewis Hamilton has admitted it will be difficult to prevent Max Verstappen from extending his lead

Lewis Hamilton has admitted it will be difficult to prevent Max Verstappen from extending his lead

“We’re going to the next two tracks which are very strong circuits for Red Bull so it’s going to be tough,” said Hamilton, who finished 1.3 seconds behind Verstappen on Sunday.

“We will try to minimize how strong they can be compared to us, and we will see if we can do a better job.

“I’m trying not to think about it right now, but to be happy with the work I did today. I’m living in the moment and I’ll take it one career at a time.”

Heading into Sunday’s 17th round of 22, Hamilton had triumphed in five of his eight appearances at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

Hamilton finished 1.3 seconds behind his fierce rival Verstappen, who won the US Grand Prix.

Hamilton finished 1.3 seconds behind his fierce rival Verstappen, who won the US Grand Prix.

Hamilton finished 1.3 seconds behind his fierce rival Verstappen, who won the US Grand Prix.

But after beating Verstappen in the first corner with a good start, Hamilton didn’t have the speed in his Mercedes to make a significant gap.

Verstappen then stole the lead with an early stop, and while Hamilton, with a younger tire in the final stages, slipped seven seconds away from the Dutchman’s lead for a thrilling climax, he was unable to pose a real threat.

“The goal was to get ahead and I finally got off to a good start,” added Hamilton. “He hadn’t had such a good start in a long time and I was very happy with it.

“So it was about staying clean, getting ahead and holding on to it. It felt good at the time, and like, ‘hey, this is the first step,’ but they were too quick.”

Hamilton (left) says upcoming races in Mexico and Brazil will suit Verstappen better (right)

Hamilton (left) says upcoming races in Mexico and Brazil will suit Verstappen better (right)

Hamilton (left) says upcoming races in Mexico and Brazil will suit Verstappen better (right)

Verstappen executed Red Bull’s aggressive strategy to claim his eighth win of a campaign that could see him claim his first title.

“I really didn’t think I was going to do that with Lewis on cooler tires at eight laps,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

“You know Lewis is very strong, and he went longer on the tires to have an advantage at the end.

“Losing here would have been really painful, but Max held on and did a great job.”

Hamilton’s battle with Verstappen will resume with three successive races in Mexico, Brazil and Qatar before two consecutive rounds in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

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