Lewis Hamilton explains ‘MASSIVE’ problem that stopped world title party | F1 | Sport

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Lewis Hamilton could have wrapped up his fifth world title last weekend but could only manage a third-placed finish behind Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.

That means the Brit driver will have to wait until the race in Mexico on Sunday to taste glory, knowing a seventh-placed finish or higher will be enough to see off rival Sebastian Vettel.

But Hamilton appears to still be mulling over what happened in Austin as he struggled to make the podium.

On the morning of the race, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas had an issue with a water pump.

As a precaution, both drivers had their pumps changed, and as well as having to increase the tyre pressure at the request of Pirelli, they chose not to use its wheel rims which aid rear axle cooling.

“They took the car apart in the morning, and when they put it back together, the car was unbalanced,” Hamilton said.

“So a massive cross-weight issue, it was something like 50 kgs, which was massive.

“So the right-front and the left-rear would take all the weight, and the car would not turn through the left hand corners.

“It felt very strange out there.

“It felt like I had a massive tailwind or something when I was going through places like Turn 19, through the right-handers it was a little better.

“But there are not a lot of right-handers at that track.

“I think if we hadn’t had that problem it would have been a much different race.”

With Austin now in the past, Hamilton will be looking ahead to getting the title he so desperately craves with two races to spare.

While Hamilton admits fans likely want to see the championship go down to the wire with the Brazilian Grand Prix and the season-ending race in Abu Dhab still to come, the 33-year-old wants the pressure off his shoulders as soon as possible.

“I guess if I was sitting and watching the Grand Prix on TV, I would have liked it to go until the end of the season, but I’m not in that place,” said Hamilton.

“When you’re in it and you live it, you just want to get it, whatever the moment, the pressure is so intense, the faster the pressure will be removed, the better I’ll go, because the pressure is huge.”



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