Cape Town - With the championship title at stake, Lewis Hamilton says he
wasn't willing to "risk anything" against Max Verstappen in Malaysia.
Hamilton was leading Sunday's grand prix before Verstappen
swept past him through Turn 1 on lap 4.
The Dutchman went on to win the grand prix by 13 seconds
ahead of Hamilton.
Speaking to Verstappen prior to the podium celebrations,
Hamilton said: "I could have closed that door but I didn't want to risk
He later explained to Sky Sports that he had the bigger
picture in mind when he was attacked by Verstappen - the title race.
"I really had to make a decision when Max was closing
me down," he said.
"I had to make the decision to not fight him and risk
him coming into me because you know he's going to give it everything whereas I
had everything to lose.
"I didn't make it very hard for him.
"At the end of the second stint it was looking a little
bit better for us but the car was still having big problems at certain corners
and I think Max was just managing the pace. I don't think we had the
Hamilton leads the championship by 34 points over Sebastian
Vettel with five races remaining.