David Coulthard surprised by Lewis Hamilton’s reaction to Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton is yet to win a grand prix since 2021, and the Brit remains without a contract for 2024.

Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard has questioned what Lewis Hamilton expected Max Verstappen to do at the opening corner of last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, after the Dutchman forced the Mercedes star wide.

The seven-time World Champion did brilliantly on Saturday to beat Verstappen to pole position, a feat he hadn’t accomplished since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

This gave Hamilton hope that he could fight for the win; however, he was fourth by the exit of Turn 2.

Hamilton made a good start initially put failed to get to the inside quick enough, due to an equally strong start by Verstappen.

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Verstappen held the inside line at the opening corner and forced Hamilton wide, which allowed both McLaren drivers through.

The 38-year-old was overtaken by Sergio Perez later in the race, only to then get past Oscar Piastri for fourth in the closing stages of the race.

It certainly wasn’t the result Hamilton was hoping for, but he openly admitted that he “didn’t have the pace” to match Red Bull and McLaren at the start of the race.

“The start, actually, the initial getaway wasn’t the worst I’ve ever had, but it obviously wasn’t as good as Max’s,” Hamilton said.

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“I had a bit of wheelspin and then obviously Max was on the inside and he ran me wide and I got done by the two McLarens. So, definitely not a great start, kind of reminiscent of 2015 when I fell back from first.

“After that, just didn’t have the pace to keep up with the guys. The balance in the car was pretty awful on that first stint, a lot of understeer and oversteer through corner balance and I just couldn’t keep up with them.

“So then, bit by bit, as we got through the next couple of stints, the car started to become more drivable, and then the last stint obviously was much better. If we had had the pace we had at the end, we would have been a little bit better I think through the day.”

Coulthard was left feeling sympathetic for Hamilton, given how many places he lost at the opening corner.

However, the Scotsman questioned what else the Mercedes driver expected Verstappen to do at Turn 1.

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“You’ve got to feel for him,” Coulthard said on Channel 4.

“I think as he got off the line, the initial reaction from both drivers was pretty much the same, but then in that secondary phase, that’s where Max Verstappen was able to get it up the inside.

“Inevitably, once Lewis decided to try and run it out, then he was going to get pushed wide. What else would he expect Max Verstappen to do?”