Lewis Hamilton says he does not intend to blame his Mercedes team after his US Grand Prix strategy meant he could not finish his fifth World Cup. The Briton is still in a dominant position to win the title and insisted that he team up with the team again to make sure they are in the best possible position to finish the job at the next round in Mexico break up.
The race in Austin was won by Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen, Hamilton was third behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Sebastian Vettel's fourth provided for the title fight, the German drove by only three laps – and a maximum of 75 points – by 70 points.
Hamilton was knocked off the line by Räikkönen, and then Mercedes decided on a two-stop strategy, hoping to overtake the Finn, who was a stumbling block in the closing stages. But Räikkönen skilfully kept Hamilton in check, and Mercedes kept the British driver too long while also losing time for traffic and tire puncture. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted: "We were probably late to meet Lewis as his tires really fell off."
After Hamilton's second stop, he appeared behind Verstappen and was unable to progress despite an attack on the two leaders.
"There are many things we could have done better on Sunday," Hamilton said. "There were certain things that were not optimal for us, which made it look worse than it was."
The 33-year-old, however, insisted that the setback would be more of an incentive than to provoke a descent into the pointer.
"We'll go back to the drawing board, so we're the best team," he said. "Because no one is to blame, we all blame ourselves, we all kick our asses and realize that we need to keep working and pushing on, knowing that the guys from this weekend onwards will do some good analysis and I know that we will be strong again in the next race. "
Seventh place or better next weekend in Mexico will ensure that Hamilton wins his fifth title to Juan Manuel Fangio. But he took nothing for granted and emphasized that Mercedes had to deal with why they were unable to reach the speed of racing Ferraris on the Circuit of the Americas.
"We did not have a big pace and had worse tire wear than anyone else, which is rarely the case," he said. "I think we were forced to stop by car on certain things we did not have, we did not know that would be the case when we went into the race, but it was a real fight was a real handful. "
Hamilton admitted that it was a combination of factors that proved costly, apart from the team's strategy. "They've gained some pace, but we lost some, so I asked them to find out why, but there's more to that," he said. "There was rubble and some damage on the ground, all these things are added up by the race, and then we had another problem, but we do not know how much time that costs." He declined to explain what the specific other one was Problem with the car had been.