Hamilton downplays Verstappen’s record-breaking Monza win: I had strong teammates

Max Verstappen finished 42 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton at the 2023 Italian GP

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Lewis Hamilton aimed another shot at Max Verstappen as the Dutchman’s 2023 Italian Grand Prix victory marked a record-breaking tenth consecutive win, after Hamilton had previously commented on the weakness of Verstappen‘s teammates.

The seven-time champion had riled up Verstappen by claiming none of his teammates are as strong as any that Hamilton has had, causing the Red Bull driver to label his rival ‘jealous’.

And after finishing sixth at Monza, nearly 45 seconds behind Verstappen, Hamilton took another swipe at the Dutchman’s record.

“I don’t care about statistics in general,” Hamilton told media, including Total-Motorsport.com, after the race.

When asked whether Valtteri Bottas, who came tenth at Monza, prevented Hamilton from producing a similar statistic, he added: “Yeah I had strong teammates, Valtteri was quick a lot of times.”

Ahead of the race, Nico Rosberg also chimed in on the teammates row. They raced together in four seasons at Mercedes from 2013 to 2016 when Rosberg won the drivers’ title – one of three champion teammates to Hamilton.

Rosberg said it was a strange comment from Hamilton but added he did have a point.

Hamilton explains Piastri collision

Hamilton finished sixth despite a five-second penalty picked up when he tapped Oscar Piastri‘s front wing, moving across too quickly after overtaking the Australian on the run to turn four and sending both drivers down the escape road.

Piastri was forced to pit and finished out of the points, collecting his own penalty overtaking Trans-Tasman rival Liam Lawson off the track as the Kiwi moved above former AlphaTauri man Nyck de Vries in the championship.

However, running on the mediums against the rest of the frontrunners on hard tyres, Hamilton was able to quickly dispatch Lando Norris and Alex Albon before quickly building an eight-second gap to the Williams.

“It was my fault and it actually wasn’t intentional,” Hamilton said on the incident, after personally apologising to Piastri post-race. “I got up alongside and just misjudged the gap that I had to the right, clipped him and it could’ve happened any time.

“I knew it must’ve been my fault so I wanted to make sure he knew it wasn’t intentional.”

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