Lewis Hamilton has said that he was on the pace of Max Verstappen as the Dutchman sealed his ninth consecutive victory at his home race at Zandvoort.
Verstappen’s win at the Dutch GP equalled the record of Sebastian Vettel for wins, and was his third victory at the circuit since its return to the calendar in 2021.
In a race dominated by heavy rain at the beginning and end, Hamilton recovered from a poor start when he dropped to the back of the pack to finish in sixth, though he was unable to clear Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in a late battle for fifth.
“It’s hard to know (how close Mercedes are). I mean, I think today I had the pace,” Hamilton told media including Total-Motorsport.com after the race.
“I was on pace with the Max in the race, but out of position. I don’t know how the possibility of achieving more.”
Happy with points
Hamilton’s decision to stay out in the early stages of the race as the rain started to come down ultimately proved costly, dropping him down the order and spoiling any chance of a potential podium.
While the Brit said he was pleased with the overall result in the context, he said the team ultimately could have walked away with much more.
“I’m pretty happy with the drive that I did get back into the points and get sixth but could have been higher for sure, if we had made the right decisions at the end of the day” he said.
“We should have pitted, but we didn’t and we paid the price for that and did our best to come back.”