Lewis Hamilton did not fight his McLaren replacement Sergio Perez for position early in the Japanese Grand Prix, when the Mexican audaciously passed the McLaren at the hairpin, because the Briton was thinking of his championship challenge.
Hamilton reckoned that he knew that Perez would try something 'crazy' as the pair fought over sixth position on lap five, and opted not to contest the move.
Perez then spun at same place 13 laps later as he tried to pass Hamilton again, post pitstops, around the outside.
"I saw him coming and I have a championship to fight for and he doesn't so..." said Hamilton, who eventually finished fifth.
"I thought that he was going to do a crazy manoeuvre, which he did.
"Then [later] when he was behind me I saw it coming again so I moved a little to the inside, thinking that he was going to go up the inside so he couldn't get by, and he just flew down the outside of me. So very interesting..."
Perez admitted that the spin was his own fault, having had no option but to go down the outside of Hamilton.
- Sergio Perez
- Lewis Hamilton