Lewis Hamilton maintains he is being “clever” with his race strategy up against Max Verstappen as the Formula 1 title race approaches its finale.
The Briton now intends to pull out of risky on-track duels, which saw flash points at Silverstone and Monza earlier this season.
While both drivers left the track in Brazil after the Red Bull star forced them both wide at Turn 4 to retain his lead.
And Hamilton was asked if his strategy to back down against Verstappen on the track was a sign of weakness.
“When you’re on the outside, it’s almost always the more sensible option to pull back so you can finish the race,” Hamilton told Auto Motor und Sport.
“On the inside, there were situations where I clearly saw myself as being in the right, like at Silverstone, for example. Look at the pictures again. My front wheel was level with his front wheel. It wasn’t that my front wheel was at the corner entrance level with his rear wheel. If I had acted like Max in Brazil in this situation, that is, had stayed on the gas, left the track and held the position, how would that have turned out?
“I don’t feel too big or too successful to avoid a fight. I know that sometimes you have to take this path. You have to be the clever one. Sometimes you lose points, but it’s not just about me. I have 2,000 employees behind me. A selfish act where I stick to my point and don’t finish the race could cost my whole team the bonus payments at the end of the year. And then create more work on the damaged car.”
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