Hamilton late for US GP press conference after getting locked inside motorhome

Lewis Hamilton may have been at odds with his team in Turkey two weeks ago, but desperately needed one staff member on Thursday when he found himself locked in his own motorhome.

Hamilton, 36, is currently in Austin, Texas, ahead of this weekend's American Grand Prix.

And the seven-time world champion was inside the driver's room preparing for his press conference when he realised he was trapped, and was only rescued when Mercedes personnel found out the key-code to open the door.

An embarrassed Hamilton did then rush in and face the media five minutes later than planned, and was quick to apologise for ironically being off the pace.

"I am sorry I am late. I got locked in my room and I couldn't get out!" he explained.

"But it feels good to be back here (in Texas). We've had a very warm welcome from my fans and it is a place with some great memories.

"We always have a great crowd here and great races, so I am excited to be back for the first time in two years."

Indeed, if the 36-year-old could have opted to pick one venue at which to overhaul the six-point deficit to championship leader Max Verstappen, Austin would have been high on his list.

He's won there five times in eight years, and although the race didn't take place in 2020 due to Covid-19, the year beforehand it was Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas who prevailed.

The title battle between Hamilton and Red Bull driver Verstappen looks set to go to the wire, with the US race one of six remaining of what has been an epic F1 season.

Will Lewis Hamilton win the US Grand Prix? Drop your prediction in the comments section.

The British driver told reporters he'd be targeting victory in all of them, but conceded that would be a tough ask.

"It's important to win all the races," Hamilton said. "We need to maximise our points over the next six races.

"There will be times when we can beat them, but in Mexico they can be strong again. A lot can happen in six races, we will take it race by race."

After Sunday comes another two-week break in the F1 schedule before a potentially defining period in November, with races over three consecutive weekends in Mexico, Brazil, and Qatar.

The 2021 season culminates in December with races in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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