Lewis Hamilton has taken to social media to clarify comments he made about Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas after the Mexico City Grand Prix on Sunday. The Mercedes driver finished second behind race winner Max Verstappen, with the Red Bull Racing driver now extending his championship lead to 19 points with four races remaining.

The British seven-time F1 world champion soaked up pressure from home hero Perez in the closing stages of the race to hold on to second place, and admitted after that the Red Bulls were too quick for Mercedes' liking. His comments were interpreted as a dig at the at the Mexican driver, who drove an impressive race to finish in third place.

"Their pace, it was just unbelievable, and there was nothing I could do to battle that – and when you've got Checo [Perez] on your tail, then you know the car is quick," Hamilton said after the race about Red Bull and his battle for second place, as quoted on F1.com.

Hamilton took to social media on Monday to make it clear that his comments were not meant to disrespect the Red Bull driver. The Briton explained that he had "a lot of respect" for his rival, and that his comments were directed as praise for Perez, who is in his first season with the Austrian team.

Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton believes Max Verstappen is likely to increase his 12-point lead in the next two F1 races Zak Mauger/POOL

"[I] just want to make sure people don't read what I was saying wrong yesterday,. I have a lot of respect for Sergio Perez and think he's doing a great job in his new team," Hamilton said. "He's improved so much this season and I know how hard it is to progress with a new team, it takes time."

That was not all, as Hamilton also went on to address his comments about teammate Bottas, whom he had called out for "leaving the door open" in the opening lap to allow Verstappen to steal the lead from the two Mercedes cars going into Turn 1.

"We all have bad days. We live and learn. Yesterday I said that vb [Bottas] left the door open and naturally people will jump to criticise," Hamilton wrote on his Instagram page. "We are a team and we win and we lose as a team. There is not one single person responsible for winning or losing, we do it together good or bad."

"You may be able to beat us but you can't break us! Onto the next one Valtteri, let's keep pushing bro."

The F1 juggernaut arrives in Brazil for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix this weekend. The Red Bulls are again expected to be quick, but Mercedes will be hoping for a better showing at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos.

Sergio Perez
Cheered on: Red Bull's Mexican driver Sergio Perez racing in front of his home fans ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP