Damon Hill has criticised Lewis Hamilton for “giving the game away” during the US Grand Prix in his radio messages.
The seven-time world champion initially had the lead in the race but he then spoke to Mercedes, saying he was struggling to stay ahead. Red Bull then pitted Max Verstappen which gifted him the race lead which he subsequently held onto.
The win means Verstappen leads Hamilton in the title race by 12 points with five races remaining and Hill is confused as to why Hamilton showed his hand.
“It was a terrific race because it was so finely-balanced all the way through,” he told the F1 Nation podcast. “And there’s a little bit of gamesmanship [with] some of those radio calls.
“I was surprised Lewis was on the radio saying ‘I can’t keep up the pace’, as he does sometimes. You think ‘why are you giving the game away?’ Then Max was saying ‘I can see him sliding around’ and then pitted and completely outfoxed Mercedes.
“[Verstappen] got track position back from his pole position that he lost in effect, then controlled a very, very tight race. It was thrilling from beginning to end.”
Hamilton has admitted he and the team have made mistakes this season and that they can learn from them.
He told Sky Sports: “It could be better in the sense we’ve dropped points, we’ve not always been perfect. But you live and learn. I feel like things have happened the way they have for a reason – we’ve learned a lot.”
The British driver will next have the opportunity to close the gap on Verstappen at the Mexican GP on the 7 November.