Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP waves to the crowd
Lewis Hamilton was told ‘f*** them all’ over his radio by Toto Wolff after a sublime drive launched him from last to fifth in Saturday’s sprint race at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes team principal praised the seven-time world champion’s effort with his resilience limiting the advantage handed to title rival Max Verstappen – who will be begin Sunday’s race second on the grid.
Hamilton’s drive follows a dramatic build-up to the race with the Briton excluded from qualifying and demoted to the back after his car failed to meet technical regulations, with his pole lap at Interlagos wiped out.
“Lewis, brilliant job, damage limitation. F*** them all.”
Hamilton replied: “Copy. It’s not over yet.”
Valtteri Bottas beat the Red Bull star to seize victory in the 24-lap dash to land pole position.
But with Verstappen finishing second, he chalked up another two points in the drivers’ championship, stretching his lead over Hamilton from 19 to 21 points.
The Dutch star will be eight places ahead of Hamilton, who has suffered a demotion to 10th after a five-place grid penalty incurred for a fifth engine change of the campaign when only three are permitted.
After securing an advantageous position over his title rival, Verstappen said: “The start was not the best. Nevertheless, our pace was quite good but when you get close here you cannot really pass.
“Today it was not possible but we will try again tomorrow.”
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