Lewis Hamilton says his experience at the Mexico City Grand Prix in 2022 has been “a bit awkward” due to the boos he has received.
The seven-time World Champion ended Sunday’s race from the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez in second place, crossing the line behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who scored his record-breaking 14th victory of the season.
Hamilton endured an intense rivalry with Verstappen last year for the F1 title, with Verstappen prevailing at the final round in Abu Dhabi.
The Mexican F1 fans rally around Guadalajara-born Sergio Perez, who is Verstappen’s F1 team-mate at the energy drink-backed squad.
Prior to the podium ceremony after Sunday’s race, there were audible boos when Hamilton stepped up to be interviewed.
“This has been an amazing crowd,” Hamilton said. “Definitely a bit awkward this time around, boos all day.
“Nevertheless, I have so much love for Mexico and the people here. What a great race and event they’ve put on this weekend.”
Hamilton started the race on the Medium compound and went deeper into the grand prix than Verstappen, who used the Softs at the beginning.
Verstappen pitted for the Medium tyre for his second stint while Hamilton chose the Hards, with Mercedes hoping that the Dutchman’s tyres would fade in the closing stages.
However, Verstappen continued to eke out a gap all the way to the chequered flag.
“I was so close in that first stint,” Hamilton commented. “I think Red Bull was too fast today, I think ultimately they had the better tyre strategy.
I’m not sure it was the right tyre in the end. I thought we should’ve started on the Softs, we had the opposite tyre. It was OK in the first stint, but that Hard tyre was just an offset.
“Congratulations to Max, it’s great to be up here separating the two [Red Bull cars].”