Lewis Hamilton says he gave everything to hunt down Nico Rosberg during the Mexican Grand Prix but as soon as he closed in he lost downforce while running in the German's turbulent air.
The three-time F1 World Champion claimed second place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and paid credit to his Mercedes team-mate Roberg on his victory. The British driver has explained each time he appeared to be within range of attacking Rosberg for the lead his lap times fell away due a loss of aerodynamic downforce.
“I was pushing the whole way it was just you can't follow,” Hamilton said. “As soon as I get four or five car lengths behind you just lost the aerodynamics, whereas he had perfect aero so it was impossible to get close enough. I had good pace you just couldn't because when you got closer and closer and closer you lost downforce.
“The team did a good race and Nico drove really well today, no mistakes, no gusts of wind… it was very difficult to follow him but what a crowd we had today. In the whole entire time I have been in Formula 1 it is the most incredible thing I've seen. I've never seen a crowd like this, it is like a football game.
“I gave it my all and it was quite fun to push and not really have to be worried about points or anything like that, just go out and race so it was a fun race.”
Midway through the Mexican GP his Mercedes team opted to switch both his and Rosberg's strategies, going from one-stop to two-stop, which Hamilton questioned at the time over the team radio but reflected in hindsight that it didn't play a deciding role in the race result.
"It doesn't really matter now [about strategy change],” he said. “It was fairly easy not too much degradation on the tyres and with the brakes you need to do a bit of lifting and coasting but it is no more worse than anywhere than anywhere else.
“I think there should be a special tyre for this race as we need more grip.”