Toto Wolff: Lewis Hamilton's result 'the best fourth place I've seen

Toto Wolff: Lewis Hamilton's result 'the best fourth place I've seen”

Hamilton led the way during Friday practice at Interlagos, and placed a close second to team-mate Valtteri Bottas on Saturday morning, but crashed out of Q1 on his first timed effort. In doing so, Hamilton performed pass after pass. Many were perfunctory given his car's advantage, but his reactions in dealing with Sergio Pérez's spirited defence into turn one were indicative of a driver at the top of his game.

The man who could've been champion - indeed who in some respects was champion for a matter of seconds in 2008 - has said goodbye to his beloved Brazilians fans; for the second time; and this time for real.

"It was one of his best performances of the year and showed that we had the quickest car here by a good margin".

"Lewis finished around three seconds behind him when he started from the pits".

"The fact that he will not shake hands is significant because shaking hands means that in some way Lewis condones or has forgotten the incident which clearly he has not and is nowhere near ready to let him off the hook".

With his eye now on next season and the race win beyond him, the charge to fourth was the best statement of intent he could make.

Although he has been retained by Mercedes for the 2018 season, Bottas' one-year extension does leave the door open for Ricciardo, currently with Red Bull, to steal his seat in 2019.

"But waking up this morning, my goal was really to try to redeem myself for yesterday's mistake and really do the team proud and try to get points back".

"After that, I was pushing, after the safety car, for 65 laps flat out". He struggled against Fernando Alonso at Ferrari, which most notably manifested in the infamous "Fernando is faster than you" radio message in Germany in 2010. The Finn said he had wheelspin at the start but Vettel too did not have the perfect getaway.

Asked what he made of Hamilton's comment, Verstappen told Sky F1: "I heard it. I hope he has to". While they were in the pits, Hamilton actually briefly inherited the lead of the race before pitting for tires himself. It was early doors, for one. When he rejoined the track he was 19 seconds down to the leader. "I just need to take whatever bubble of negativity from this experience and move forward and grow".

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