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Hamilton 'flat out the whole way' to beat Verstappen in Bahrain

Ben Issatt

Dec. 01, 2020

Lewis Hamilton admits he was "flat out the whole way" to keep Max Verstappen at bay during the Bahrain Grand Prix.
With Valtteri Bottas out of the equation after an early pit-stop, it left the world champion and the Red Bull driver to go head-to-head for victory under the lights.
However, while Verstappen was able to put in occasional spurts, Hamilton always had an answer to keep the gap at around four-to-five seconds.
“Yeah, it really was physically very demanding,” Hamilton said post-race.
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“I think with the break that we had at the beginning [after Romain Grosjean's crash], you get into a mindset, you go out and you’ve got a good start and then that 45-minute to an hour wait that we had, it’s so easy to step out of the zone.
“But then getting back in, they [Red Bull] had a lot of speed today, so I was flat out the whole way just trying to keep them at bay."
Hamilton admitted the battle did leave him a little weary at the end but was delighted to score what was his 11th win in 15 races this season.
“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. You’ve got lots of high-speed corners, so I was definitely feeling it," said the Mercedes driver.
"And of course I managed to just about reply to him [Max Verstappen in second] when I needed too.
"We were sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really sure how it would play out at the end but I’m massively grateful, thankful to my team because at the end of the day they did a great job with the strategy and what a privilege it is to be able to get another result like this,”
Sunday though might be the last we see of Hamilton this season after it was revealed on Tuesday that the Brit would not be taking part in this weekend's Sakhir GP on Bahrain's Outer Circuit following a positive test for Covid-19 on Monday.
Lewis will now also have to provide a negative test before next week to be allowed to race at the finale in Abu Dhabi.
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