Lewis Hamilton has revealed he had to change his driving style during the Mexican Grand Prix in order to deal with floor damage on his Mercedes W10 car before scoring his 10th victory the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Hamilton made contact with Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the race and ran onto the grass, but recovered to move to within four points of his sixth world championship by perfecting a one-stop strategy, beating Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel to victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Upon getting out of his car in parc ferme, Hamilton drew a nearby TV camera's attention to the floor of his car, which was missing a chunk of bodywork as a result of the clash with Verstappen.

"My car was really damaged on the rear floor. I must have been losing tenths of a second with the floor, so it was quite difficult with the balance," Hamilton said after the race.

"With the switches, with a different driving style, I managed to just keep it on the straight and narrow, and we made it stick."

As well as contending with a damaged floor, Hamilton was also required to make his set of Hard tyres last 48 laps in order to stick to a one-stop strategy, and was heard on team radio questioning the team's decision to come in so early to make the switch.

But the Briton held on to cross the line 1.7 seconds clear of Vettel, who had pitted 14 laps later to give himself fresher rubber for the final push to the line.

"I was managing. I had to manage quite a lot, it was a long way," Hamilton said.

"He was still going for so long. It was a lot. It was encouraging to hear other people were going long, but he started to pick up the pace towards the end, and I needed to save enough in my pocket to be able to keep that gap for the last few laps.

"That wasn’t easy. He was very, very fast."

Hamilton is now 74 points clear of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the drivers' championship, and requires a lead of 52 points following next Sunday's race in Austin, Texas to clinch his sixth world title.

 

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