The midfielder has revealed he made the most of a confrontation with the Poland striker so that he was sent off on Saturday
Play was stopped for a foul by the striker after he followed through on Per Skejbred when challenging for a bouncing ball. In the aftermath, the Netherlands midfielder went down after confronting Lewandowski, with the Poland international then given his marching orders.
"It was a fiery match. In the scene with Lewandowski I had to do a bit of theatre. I had the feeling that he would not otherwise have been sent off. It was a clear red card," he told reporters.
Hamburg were 2-1 up when Lewandowski was dismissed, and went on to win 4-1, but Van der Vaart dismissed the idea that the red card was key to the victory.
"Ultimately we won the game because we were better," he stated.
The former Tottenham man was instrumental in the victory, with the HSV's sporting director Frank Arnesen singling him out for praise after the match.
"You saw again today how important he is to our team. He had an excellent game."