Lewis Hamilton’s brilliant reply to Max Verstappen criticism

Lewis Hamilton's podium at the Australian Grand Prix was Mercedes' first of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton believes his overtake on Max Verstappen at the Australian Grand Prix was “pretty decent”, following complaints from the Dutchman that his move was illegal.

Hamilton made an excellent start to the race at the Albert Park Circuit on Sunday, with the Briton having worked his way from third to second on the opening lap.

He pulled off an excellent move on Verstappen at Turn Three on the opening lap, with the Mercedes driver having out-braked the Dutchman.

Verstappen left Hamilton room to slide down the inside; however, he was unhappy at having been forced onto the kerb by the Mercedes driver.

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The reigning World Champion questioned the move after it happened and also after the race, where he gave his opinion that the rules were “not followed”.

Hamilton’s stance on the overtake were the complete opposite, with the 38-year-old having labelled it as “pretty decent”.

“I thought it was pretty decent,” Hamilton said after the race.

“I mean, he braked early and I braked late and I was fully up the inside and I think we both left space for each other.

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“I didn’t run him off the road and he didn’t turn in on me.

“So we didn’t touch and that’s racing.”

Whether the overtake was legal or not didn’t really matter come the end of the race, as Verstappen overtook Hamilton just a matter of laps after having fallen behind the Stevenage-born driver.

Verstappen breezed past Hamilton with ease, leaving the Mercedes driver stunned by Red Bull’s unbelievable straight-line speed once again.

After being overtaken by the double World Champion, Hamilton went on to finish second, following a near race-long battle with former team-mate Fernando Alonso.

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The duo remained within 1.2-1.5 seconds of each other for virtually the entire race, with the pair having had somewhat of a chess match; albeit at 200 mph.

The podium was, of course, Hamilton’s and Mercedes’ first of 2023, with the veteran having moved to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship as a result.

Mercedes remain second in the Constructors’ Championship, behind Red Bull and Aston Martin ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.