Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had differing views on the critical 42nd passing move that decided Sunday’s United States Grand Prix in favour of McLaren’s British driver.
While Vettel complained about the nuisance factor of back-marker Narain Karthikeyan of Force India and his loss of seven precious points, Hamilton was delighted to find a way through for his fourth win of the season.
Vettel said: “I wasn’t too happy to send a nice big invitation to Lewis when I had to go through Karthikeyan.
“He was right behind in the DRS zone. He took that opportunity, fair enough, down the straight and he passed me. I tried to defend, but I knew he would have so much more speed. I was obviously not too happy. Lewis had one chance and he took it. After that I tried to stay with him, but there wasn’t much between us.”
Hamilton admitted: “Overtaking Vettel wasn't easy... It was actually quite tricky. When I finally got close to him, I seemed to be catching him in the first sector and that was difficult. And then the backmarkers came into play, finally. How many times has it happened to me when I got caught out (by backmarkers)? But this time, it worked out and I knew that was going to be the lap.
“I turned the engine up to maximise the revs and went for the inside, but he defended. So, I went to the outside and he closed the door a bit so I was very lucky...”
Hamilton added that once he had taken the lead, he nursed his car — sometimes physically — to reach the finish and win. “I rubbed the car and said ‘Come on baby, we can make it’.”