Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Hamilton passes Verstappen and Bottas to win Portuguese Grand Prix

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton won the Portuguese Grand Prix after passing both Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas on track in the early phase of the race to take the lead.

Hamilton was never troubled after taking the lead for the first time, leading Verstappen and Bottas home, with Sergio Perez finishing fourth in the second Red Bull.

Lando Norris took fifth for McLaren, ahead of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. The two Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Feranndo Alonso finished seventh and eighth, with Daniel Ricciardo in ninth and Pierre Gasly rounding out the points in tenth.

At the start, the top three on the grid of Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen held their positions as the field navigated the opening lap.

Running down the pit straight for the first time, Kimi Raikkonen ran into the rear of his Alfa Romeo team mate Antonio Giovinazzi, dislodging his front wing and causing him to run off into the gravel and out of the race.

The Safety Car was deployed while the debris along the pit straight was cleared. As the race resumed on lap seven, Verstappen timed his jump to perfection and was able to pass Hamilton for second place. Perez lost fourth to Norris after the pair passed Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Despite losing second to Verstappen, Hamilton was able to catch the Red Bull and retake the position on lap 11. Having taken back second, Hamilton set his sights on the lead and was able to storm into the front of the field by sweeping around the outside of his Mercedes team mate into turn one on lap 20.

Verstappen was the first of the front runners to stop on lap 36, switching to hard tyres. Mercedes brought Bottas in from second place the very next lap for a fresh set of hards of his own, and was able to rejoin ahead of Verstappen. But with Verstappen’s tyres being more up to temperature, the Red Bull was able to put Bottas under immediate pressure and dived up the inside of turn five to take the position.

After Hamilton pitted from the lead, Perez led the race on a marathon first stint until lap 51, when Hamilton was able to eventually catch and easily pass the Red Bull – Perez finally stopping for softs a lap later.

In the final laps, both Verstappen and Bottas both opted to pit for fresh soft tyres to take fastest lap. Bottas was able to claim the fastest lap temporarily, until he was beaten by Verstappen on the final lap. That was, until the stewards deleted Verstappen’s time for exceeding track limits at turn 14.

Hamilton eventually took the chequered flag almost half a minute ahead of Verstappen, with Bottas four seconds further back.

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2021 Portuguese Grand Prix reaction

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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213 comments on “Hamilton passes Verstappen and Bottas to win Portuguese Grand Prix”

  1. Yayy!! The underdogs won!!!

    1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      2nd May 2021, 17:15

      It really was a breath of fresh air, wasn’t it? /s

      1. They are blessed. Cant fault them for it

        1. @mysticus we even got the legendary “my tires are shot” line by Sir Lewis Hamilton.

          1. ian dearing
            2nd May 2021, 19:46

            Just one half of the legendary, the other half ends with ‘Bono’. Think each one means something different to the team.

      2. Of course yes.. Its nice sometimes seeing a midfield team rising to the occasion and winning against the favorites.. Gasly-Monza 2020 and Perez-Sakhir 2020 move over, there is a new underdog sheriff in town!

    2. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
      2nd May 2021, 17:33

      In all seriousness: While I genuinely think that Lewis and Mercedes deserve massive respect for what they’ve achieved together, I just … can’t anymore. I just want someone else to win the championship. Anyone else.

      1. Even if his name is Nikita

        1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
          2nd May 2021, 19:23

          Questionable moral fiber aside – if Nikita can win the championship in that car, then I’d say he deserves it.

          1. I don’t think Nikita could win with that car in F2

      2. The best driver won, I have no problem with that, and Ive never been a fan of Mercedes or Hamilton.

        1. On the Marbles
          3rd May 2021, 8:08

          Exactly; there were at least three other drivers on that track with the equipment to match or beat Hamilton. If they couldn’t then it’s hardly Hamilton’s fault.

    3. I already found it a strange title as to me it sounded to me if Lewis started as third and passed everyone to win…

  2. Normal service has been resumed. Look forward to another dull season of domination.

    1. Not necessarily. I think the track characteristics suited the Mercs a little more this weekend. Let’s see what happens in Barcelona which has a grippier tarmac next week. It might just keep swinging from one team to the other all season.

      1. At the start of the season, apparently to coin a phrase Mercedes weren’t at the races

        Yet Hamilton’s had his joint best start to any of his championship seasons and better than 2008, 2017 & 2019

        You seem to forget that Hamilton always gets better as the season progress. Significantly, that was before he even joined Mercedes plus of course his current team also get better

        Let’s remember last week, if it hadn’t been for an extra 2s due to a botched pit stop – Hamilton probably wouldn’t have taken that risk and at that time was looking faster than Max

        It’ll be interesting to see how young Max handles this.

    2. Lewis and Mercedes just teasing everybody.

    3. @hahostolze The Mercedes and Red Bull cars are virtually even. Slight mistakes and/or superbly time passes are making the difference. So far 2 v 1 to Hamilton versus Verstappen. But if it stays this close, I’d say it’s impossible to call any race. Really, I can’t see how you can ask for more. The only ‘normal’ I saw was Hamilton passing Bottas at some point in the first stint after losing out in qualifying or at the start. Though this time he did so with one of his best passes in a long time.

      This was always going to happen. Red Bull improving and Verstappen threatening in the championship pushed Hamilton up a level, earlier in the season than usual. It’s up to them to respond.

      1. Agreed, they do seem virtually even although the Mercs seemed better at this track on hard rubber (and remember Max was never less than 5 seconds behind Ham until his final pit stop so that’s very close).
        Hamilton had two excellent passes today on his two main competitors so he deserved the win no doubt.

      2. @david-br from the way that the race played out, it did look like Red Bull were a bit faster in the opening part of a stint, where they were able to bring their tyres up to temperature very quickly, and it looked like their car worked better with the medium tyre.

        From qualifying, we saw that Red Bull could set a fast time on their first flying lap, whereas Mercedes, and indeed most other teams, needed a couple of laps to get the tyres into the right temperature range. Similarly, in the race, it seemed that the Red Bull’s could set a fast lap on their outlap from the pits.

        However, it looks possible that Red Bull’s ability to bring the tyres into their operating window more rapidly did come with a slight penalty in terms of wear over a stint. The average performance over the stint might have been similar, but probably achieved in a different way – Red Bull being faster earlier on, but Mercedes being more consistent in the latter part of the stint.

        When on the hards, their pace actually seems to have not been too dissimilar – Verstappen had a couple of fairly slow laps from laps 41-44, which created a bit of a gap to Hamilton, but the lap times he set after that showed he was able to match the two Mercedes drivers for pace. The change in strategy for Perez throws the comparison with him out after that – though he was on the same pace as Max and the two Mercedes on the mediums once he cleared Norris, providing support for the idea that the two were fairly similar in terms of pace on the mediums.

        1. @anon Yes I’d agree with all that. Still the track and conditions probably favoured the Mercedes, and they may well have set up the car better, especially for the race, so – overall – I’d say they’re still neck and neck right now. Obviously that could change, particularly as Mercedes have more margin for improvement (recovering lost rear downforce from last year).

  3. Weaving on straights by Ricciardo goes unnoticed for 2nd year in a row

    1. @Chaitanya Other drivers did too.

  4. Ay ay Valterri…. this guy can’t catch a break… He did a good job keeping 1st in the race until Hamilton overtook him. But Mercedes another 3 second stop, they need to really address that.

    1. Well, no, it’s the only thing where red bull is better, pit stops!

  5. As long as Bottas outperforms Perez, we can conclude the Merc is the better car.

    1. Bottas certainly didn’t outperform Perez in Imola though.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        2nd May 2021, 17:02

        he was terribly slow, but Perez made plenty of big mistakes and he didn’t get a points finish even with cars retirements from cars that were in a higher position than he finished. Pace wise, he was better than Bottas, but Bottas likely will have finished at the lower end of the points if not for the safety car, which would have been better than Perez. Perez has looked worse than Bottas in all 3 race weekends so far to be honest.

    2. Davethechicken
      2nd May 2021, 16:59

      Expand please. Perez has never been rated a top driver. He has had a long career. Why would you rate him better than Bottas?

      1. Because he is more aggressive, and that’s good when you are an underdog, especially when you help your number1 driver and defend against the rivals number1.

    3. Can’t compare 3 races to what 4-5 seasons?

      Rbr have a comparable car, they need more than just a fast car and driver.

    4. It’s swings and roundabouts at the moment, and too early to conclude who is faster overall.

      In this race, Mercedes had a bit more pace in hand in the latter stages, but the Red Bull had better pace in the earlier stages.

      It seems how each team’s car performs on the various tyre options, and how many mistakes they make, is what is largely going to determine the championship this season.

      Never mind the slickness of their pitstops.

      Also, let’s not forget that Red Bull set the fastest lap in qualifying and the race, but had them deleted.

      1. @kbdavies I think Mercedes were quicker than Red Bull all race. Maybe only the first 1-2 laps on hards Max was quicker.

        1. No, they weren’t. Max out dragged a Mercedes without the benefit of DRS, and stayed in DRS range of the other one for over 15 laps, before also overtaking it on the SAME tyres.

          Also, he got fastest lap over a Mercedes on exactly the same tyre before it was deleted.

          All indications points to the Red Bull being equally as fast as Mercedes in this race overall.

          1. C’mon max got passed Hamilton because Hamilton wasn’t paying attention when bottas restarted the race.

        2. @mashiat Reb Bull look faster on softs – they should have had pole and fastest lap.

          Horner says RB were marginally faster on mediums.

          Mercedes clearly faster on hards.

          All of above applies at Portmao this weekend. Next weekend may be different.

    5. I rate Bottas and Perez very similarly, but I also rate Hamilton and Verstappen very similarly. It’s still difficult to know which is the better car, but I still expect Hamilton and Mercedes to win the championship.

      1. Davethechicken
        2nd May 2021, 17:19

        Tend to agree frog. I would say bottas a fair bit better in qualy, in races closer.
        If mercedes had rated perez he would have got the seat before bottas with them. He has 2years more experience than Bottas. Not much to chose between them overall.

    6. F1oSaurus (@)
      2nd May 2021, 17:12

      @trib4udi Bottas is a much better driver than Perez though. Perez could barely beat Stroll. Plus Perez is still very uncomfortable in the car constantly needing coaching on how to set it up and drive it.

      1. @f1osaurus Nope, Perez roundly beat Stroll

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          3rd May 2021, 9:52

          No he didn’t. He only “beat” Stroll after Stroll’s car tried to kill him, when he was suffering from Covid and kept suffering the after effects for a few races after that. And when Stroll’s front wing broke in Turkey.

      2. And of course that’s a fair comparison…VB in the dominant car for how long? vs Perez with how many races in his RBR? Stroll engrained in his car for how long? VB should be embarrassed that he’s not being compared to LH and MV and that he has once again confirmed he has no answer for them, even starting from pole.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          2nd May 2021, 20:09

          @robbie Yeah, of course you don’t understand.

          Maybe you understand your own writing instead:

          Perez with how many races in his RBR? Stroll engrained in his car for how long?

          Instead of your knee jerk crying to whatever I post, use that part of your in reply to what @trib4udi wrote.

        2. @robbie I agree. Perez is doing OK. Better than (a now good) Gasly and Albon alongside Max anyhow.
          As for Bottas, he is a fast driver and precise. But he again couldn’t get the tyres working as well as Lewis and Max during the race. And did anyone doubt Lewis would pass some time in the first stint? Hamilton has him completely sussed. He knows when to time his attack, after they’re in the race groove, before the tyres fade, he closes up, pressurizes, and nips past. As he did with Rosberg over the years. Same with Verstappen, a sniff of a chance and he’ll be past VB.

          1. @david-br Yeah for sure and at the same time as Brundle pointed out when it was happening VB left himself completely vulnerable the way he covered the inside line but gave himself no angle to do anything but let off. He gave LH the whole outside of that turn. For all the pace that VB can garner at times, he really lacks racecraft. When has he ever made it difficult for LH ala Rosberg? At least there was some tension and excitement with Nico.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            3rd May 2021, 9:51

            @david-br The problem is taht he’s replying to my reply as if it exists in a vacuum. My reply was to a comment stating that Perez being slower than Bottas proofs the Red Bull car is slower.

      3. LOL! Here comes the Perez knocker. Bottas perhaps used to be better than Perez, but he’s mentally spent now

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          2nd May 2021, 20:10

          @banbrorace I’m not knocking Perez. I appreciate him for what he actually does overall. Not for what you hype him up to be based on those 2 or 3 races per year where he puts in a decent performance.

      4. Stroll is better than a 4 time world champion, what does it says about Perez ? I guess Stroll is worth 6 titles, and then Perez 7 titles. Oh, and I forgot Hulk… Soo many titles.

        Or maybe, just maybe, these comparison are ridiculous.

    7. @trib4udi given how many drivers who have switched teams have complained about finding it difficult to adapt to their new cars because of the curtailed pre-season testing – with Perez having switched teams and Bottas an incumbent driver, how much is Perez losing due to starting the season in a less favourable situation?

      After all, consider that Vettel has been lagging Stroll, Tsunoda’s behind Gasly, Ricciardo is behind Norris, Alonso is behind Ocon and Sainz is behind Leclerc.
      If you went off Ricciardo’s performances at McLaren, you’d assume Ferrari had leapt to 3rd in the WCC given he’s behind Leclerc and pretty much level with Sainz in the WDC – but Norris’s performance would suggest a different picture. If you went off Tsunoda’s performance today, you’d say that Alpha Tauri was barely better than a Williams – but Gasly was able to take a point near the end of the race.

      If all of the drivers at new teams are a bit off the pace of where you’d expect them to be – why isn’t that applicable to Perez too?

      1. Perfectly said

      2. Finally, a rational comment.

  6. lexusreliability?
    2nd May 2021, 16:54

    If Verstappen can’t press home the Red Bull advantage while it lasts, Hamilton will be crowned champion with multiple races to spare. Pretty descent race must say

  7. This is why we need Bottas out of that Mercedes.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      2nd May 2021, 16:59

      Because his sensor didn’t work correctly?

      1. Or because he rolled over for Hamilton, maybe. And didn’t really mount a challenge back on Verstappen, perhaps?

        Regardless, Merc is Hamilton’s team as much as Red Bull is Verstappen’s. Second drivers are only there in a support role.

        1. only because the can’t keep up.
          McLaren was Alonso’s team in 2007 .. and then it wasn’t

          1. That’s how F1 is – number 1 and number 2.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          2nd May 2021, 17:30

          Rolled over? If they actually treated Bottas as a #2 driver they would have told him to move over much earlier. Instead of letting Bottas push Hamilton back and let him be overtaken by Verstappen after the restart.

          That’s the difference between Mercedes and teams like Red Bull and Ferrari with their designated #1 drivers. Bottas is treated equally to the extreme. Often enough to the detriment of the team result.

          1. Agree here

          2. Equally to the extreme… with only yearly contracts vs the other driver with 3 year contracts. Sure.

          3. F1oSaurus (@)
            2nd May 2021, 20:11

            ChrisVB Hamilton has a one year contract. So …

      2. @Neutralino you speak as you are working for mercedes? state your position so we can benefit from your wisdom, otherwise keep your opinion about who goes where and not to yourself. or behave like every other armchair expert here.

      3. F1oSaurus (@)
        2nd May 2021, 17:31

        I’m just saying the truth. Bottas had an exhaust temperature sensor issue which cost him some pace in the end. Plus the extra time he lost in the pitstop clearly didn’t help him. That you cannot handle the truth is hardly my fault.

    2. Bottas is a very decent driver. Verstappen is the only driver who I think could seriously challenge Hamilton in the same car over a whole season. Bottas isn’t quite on their level, but he still one of the best on the grid and does give Lewis a fight (he outqualified him).

      1. I don’t think verstappen will manage in that mercedes as lewis. He is adapted to RBR, will not be easy to switch to Mercedes. Just look at Ricciardo, he was perfect with renault engine, but crumbled with mercedes. So, better for both to stick with their own engine/car.

    3. There is no ‘We’ here ‘We’ don’t own the Mercedes Team, ‘We’ don’t pay the drivers salaries, ‘We’ have little to no insight into Mercedes as an organisation, ‘We’ have nothing to do with Mercedes, all ‘We’ do is sit on our butts and watch (shout at the ;)) TV, comfortable in our preferences and expressing our opinions and outage as though they are representative of reality.

    4. RP (@slotopen)
      3rd May 2021, 2:40

      Bottas is perfect. Put another Rosberg in the second Merc and Verstappen might sneak away with the WDC. Perez is perfect in the same way. Good enough to pick up points and cover Verstappen’s tail, but not good enough to cause problems like Ricciardo.

      It makes it less interesting to watch, but it is the right thing for the teams.

  8. Max lost flap for track limits.

    1. Masi at it again changing the track limits throughout the weekend. I don’t understand why they have to keep adjusting the rules. Seems pretty incompetent to me and hasn’t learned anything from Bahrain.

      1. Davethechicken
        2nd May 2021, 17:26

        The rules are in black and white for all to read. If RBRs race engineers and Max don’t read them no one to blame but themselves. Max didn’t seem to realise track limits were enforced on turn 14, implying he carried the off track line to gain a speed advantage.
        His deleted lap was barely faster than Bottas so he may well not have got flap of he had stuck to the track anyway.

      2. ian dearing
        2nd May 2021, 17:30

        Same as MotoGP. Decide where they are going to police, then revise after the drivers/riders briefing.

      3. I don’t get it. Verstappen was outside track limits. His lap got deleted. Why are people complaining? I thought we wanted track limits to be enforced? After practice they realised turn 14 was a problem and they had a clarification. This is such a non issue and I don’t understand why people are getting upset by it.

        1. I agree. I don’t know why people were complaining. I noticed this when Vers did it. I immediately said I was sure all four if his wheels were outside the limit. So why should he get the point when Bottas stayed within the limits. A rule is a rule for the whole race. It does not get ignored on the last lap.

    2. Well, to be fair, when I watched VER lap, I though “ouch, not sure this should count as a faster lap, probably the next “clarification” is coming”. We NEED to get rid of these “track limit rules”, one way or another. I don’t want it to be the talking point of every GP.

  9. Great result for Max beating one faster Mercedes. Absolutely maximized the race result. Hopefully the redbull will be faster in Barcelona and Monaco otherwise the season will be over already .

    1. should have also got the fastest point

      1. But Verstappen made a mistake so didn’t get FLAP @nickthegreek (oh, and w. fastest lap, arguably in a faster car @anunaki ;)

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      2nd May 2021, 17:08

      Red Bull had the faster car. Friday analysis showed that Red Bull had 0.25s on Mercedes on race pace. Saturday showed Verstappen should have gotten pole but he lost it due to not being able to keep his car on track. Sunday again he was fastest and again failed to complete the lap correctly.

      The Red Bull car is faster, but their single focus driver is just making too many mistakes.

      1. Faster car in an empty track doesn’t equal to a necessary better car for the race @f1osaurus

        We all saw how fast that Merc passed on the straight. A straight line advantage is better in races even if the car gets marginally slower, since the driver won’t be pushing 100 percent the entire race in clean air anyways

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          2nd May 2021, 20:14

          Ipsom, Well Verstappen should have gotten pole and then won the race from there.

          If Verstappen chooses to run more downforce then that is his choice. It clearly gives him a better laptime. If he hadn’t made that mistake in turn 14 he would not have been overtaken by Hamilton.

          It’s Verstappen’s own fault that he let Hamilton abuse his speed deficit.

      2. @f1osaurus funny thing, they are usually the ones advocating for the track limits, and falls foul of it at the end is the irony in F1 :)

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          2nd May 2021, 20:15

          @mysticus Yeah I don’t like the track limits panic. Verstappen should have gotten that pole. He clearly gained nothing from that snap.

          But yeah it’s funny that the people who complain about others abusing track limits are then caught out by abusing track limits.

      3. Not sure about that. It was clear from the beginning of the WE that Merc was in form and that I wouldn’t be easy for RB. What do you mean by “Friday analysis” ? The AWS stats ? Your wishes ? The pundit commentary ? I think it was clear from the beginning of the season that Merc was on top of his issues and that this would be a tough battle, down to the wire. Also, I don’t believe these theory about the Mercedes engine been less performant than the Honda. I think it is still the reference in F1.

        1. @f1
          Mercedes engine is reference but red bull is matching it to very close degree, but faster doesnt mean engine superiority, RB aero is clearly working much better… Also their engine is not bad, they are almost on par, maybe slightly lacking. Overall RB seems more stable/predictable car than mercedes, due to mercedes’ tyre warm up issue and rear downforce… When tyres are warm, mercedes still has a bit of edge in the name of Lewis, Bottas still needs to up his game.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          2nd May 2021, 20:17

          The formula 1 site did analysis and put Red Bull (fuel load corrected) 0.25s ahead of Mercedes already on Friday. On Saturday Verstappen was faster and on Sunday he was faster again.

        3. Red Bull clearly faster on softs – should have been on pole and should have had fastest lap.

          Horner said Red Bull were slightly faster on mediums.

          Mercedes clearly faster on hards.

          All the above at Portimao this weekend. Next weekend may be different!

      4. Lol that’s the thing about loudmouth bullies.

      5. F1oSaurus (@)
        2nd May 2021, 20:30

        @kingshark I did post after Imola. Even replied to your post that you were missing me so much. How sad a live you must have that you actually keep track of my posts. Well, you keep track poorly, but still.

        I didn’t see that Imola race, but I posted after seeing the highlights.

        Actually Hamilton did a lot better than Verstappen did that weekend. So why would that somehow turn me away anyway?

        The site has deteriorated with the bigger and bigger focus on quantity over quality so I don’t visit that often, but I do my best to swing by to correct people who are unable to understand F1. Thank you for asking I guess.

        Besides, Verstappen had the fastest car for 3 races now and he won only 1 of those 3 races. So, he’s proving exactly what I have said all along. Well he’s been doing that for years now, so nothing new there, but there are stil people who pretend It’S JuSt ThE Car. VeRstAppEn Would Win EvErY rAcE EZ iF He Had A ComPeTiTive Car”. When in fact he wins less than 50% of the races where he has the best car.

        Hamilton has won more race this season where Verstappen had the best car than Verstappen did.

      6. @f1osaurus

        Hard not to notice your post when you are usually the biggest loudmouth in the comments section after every Hamilton win, while hiding under a rock when Hamilton crashed.

        Anyway, keep deluding yourself that Mercedes is not the best car, when Bottas continues to outperform Perez in both qualy and race day.

        Let’s not forget that Perez is the better driver anyway, so if Bottas is performing better, then the car must be significantly better.

      7. RP (@slotopen)
        3rd May 2021, 2:48

        I think there is a different explanation. The Red Bull is faster but harder to drive. Gassy and Albion couldn’t cope with it.

        I think I you gave everybody 4 tries at Qualifying or FLap the Red Bull would win. But the drivers struggle to keep it on the track.

        During the race it looks to be a toss-up. Track, driver, and tires and flip it either way.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          3rd May 2021, 9:15

          @slotopen Red Bull has had the more stable car this season though. It’s Mercedes that has been struggling with an unbalanced car since the start of testing.

          That Red Bull was struggling with balance in Portugal was more an effect of Verstappen being unable to set up the car now and then. He has this a few times per season. Like last year in Hungary and Imola when he suddenly was a second slower. For Hungary Horner was even convinced upfront they would win that race.

  10. Apart from the restart, excellent race from Lewis. I think it’s fair to say that Mercedes is the fastest car again. Also, really impressed by Lando this year!

    1. @j-l I don’t see it. Verstappen pulled out one of those dominant gaps at Imola showing the Red Bull had more race pace. At Bahrain and Portugal, Mercedes/Hamilton have won without being much ahead (discounting the pit stops for FLAP). All the simulations on race pace but Red Bull a bit ahead. And twice now Verstappen should have had pole but messed up slightly.

      1. @david-br I was more referring to the race pace, but you’re kind of proving my point. Red Bull was the faster car since testing, but the Mercs were clearly faster on Sunday. I hope I’m wrong, could be track-specific, but Mercedes is clearly on a better trajectory here.

        1. @j-l Most likely both, the track this weekend favoured Mercedes very slightly, and Mercedes have more performance to gain by resolving their rear downforce issues. We’ll get a better idea in Spain this coming weekend I guess. If Mercedes are level or faster than Red Bull, then yes, they’ve pulled ahead slightly. But even Red Bull admit they didn’t get the car set up right in Portugal, whereas Mercedes (judging by Bottas) seemed to have nailed it.

          1. @david-br Those are good points, Mercedes did have more room to grow and they seemed to have resolved most of the car’s issues, hence the improvement. I didn’t really pay attention to how happy the teams were with the setups, so I can’t really comment, but you might be right. We’ll just have to wait and see. And I can’t wait :)

  11. Max seems to be correct in his post race comments … The race directors notes do not state anything about a time being deleted for track limits at turn 14 … so therefore Max’s “Odd” seems to be a bit of an understatement to me…. Stewards are incorrect in that decision according to their own document …

    When can we just have they must remain between the 100mm (or whatever it is) wide white line as being track limits … ?

    1. Turn 14 was added to the list of corners that will be monitored on Saturday morning, it was said so by the BBC commenters

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      2nd May 2021, 17:04

      Yeah I was going to make this point as well. I think it has something to do with T14 TL being added as a revision to the event notes after the lap deletion clauses were put it. This says 2 things:

      1. Someone at the FIA forgot to add the clause to the notes.

      2. Maybe we should stop changing track limit definitions over the weekend??? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (or even just use the white lines. Radical, I know)

      1. Or ……

        3. Maybe Max should appraise himself of these important updates

        1. Actually it should be clear enough without any rule just a track with gravel and grass on that spot.

          1. Or tyre spikes !

    3. Turns 5 and 14 were added yesterday morning.

    4. Max is getting slightly irksome with his constant moans, no matter how valid

      Reminds me of Lewis in that terrible 2011 season he had, where he blamed everyone else for his errors. We saw then how easy it is for a driver to get paranoid and that’s 0.2s of pace gone

    5. @potsie159 T14 was added on Saturday morning and all teams notified. It was reported on this very site!

      Verstappen and RB dozing on the job.

    6. @potsie159

      Max seems to be correct in his post race comments

      No, he’s definitely wrong. This is from Saturday morning:

      1. I think the rules were very clear. Track limits were being policed at turn 14 the whole race. As I said in a comment above, it does just get ignored on the final lap.

      2. F1oSaurus (@)
        3rd May 2021, 9:47

        @keithcollantine The amendment for turn 14 is completely different for what was already in the notes for turn 1, 4 and 15 though

        for turn 1, 4 and 15 it was very clear that the lap time would be deleted:

        A lap time achieved during any practice session or the race by leaving the track and cutting
        behind the red and white kerb on the exit of Turn x, will result in that lap time being invalidated
        by the stewards

        The added text for turn 14 is completely different:

        21.6 Turn 14 – Exit
        a) The track limits at the exit of Turn 14 are defined as when no part of the car remains in contact with the red and white kerb.

        Plus 21.7 adds a reference to Article 27.3 of the Sporting Regulations not to gain a lasting advantage, but that’s just standard rules that always apply anyway.

        Nowhere is lap time deletion mentioned for turn 14 or turn 5.

        And “lasting advantage” was explained for Bahrain not to included small lap time or tyre wear gains. Explaining why no drivers were penalized for “lasting advantage” in turn 4 (And others) for simply going wide. While overtaking off track by Verstappen was seen as a lasting advantage in the form of gaining track position which he then had to give back.

        On the other hand turn 14 already was monitored during quali using the same notes, so it’s odd that Verstappen didn’t realize the same would happen during the race. Though that does not negate the fact that the directors notes were woefully unclear again.

  12. Perez led the race on a marathon first stint until lap 51, when Hamilton was able to eventually catch and easily pass the Red Bull

    bit embarrassing he asked for a blue flag.
    On the straight without Drs the Mercedes was about 7km/u faster. So on all accounts by far the fastest car.

    1. You do understand that fastest in a straight line does not equal fastest car right? Unless the 2017 Williams was the fastest car at spa?

    2. Yes indeed. Alpine and Williams were the fastest in the speed traps, so they are the fastest car by “all accounts”.

    3. I think he mistook Perez for Albon who by then was often a lap behind :D

      1. ian dearing
        2nd May 2021, 17:34

        Yes, I think he thought it was a back marker the speed Perez was going.

      2. Albon so slow he’s still driving last years race.

    4. That was the most exciting and very odd thing that happened!

    5. He’s tyres were shot, Hamilton just got a better exit out of T13 an T14 and carried that down the straight.

    6. F1oSaurus (@)
      2nd May 2021, 20:56

      Your are factually incorrect (ie lying). Verstappen had the same speed as Bottas in one speed measurement and he was only 1 km/h slower than Hamilton in the other.

      Besides, Alpine and AlphaTauri had the fastest speeds in all categories (Tsunoda 8 km/h faster than Hamilton!). So you would argue they have the fastest cars? Or best engines? So AlphaTauri Honda have a better engine than Red Bull Honda?

      It’s such a sad bit of propaganda to focus on speed traps numbers. The only thing these speed traps point out is they (both Hamilton and Verstappen!) are slower down the straights. Duh! With higher downforce they would be slower on the straights and yet faster in the corners. Overall Verstappen had the fastest lap times so, overall the fastest car.

      1. You can’t use logic and reason here anymore unfortunately @f1osaurus. These commenters don’t even know the front and rear wings can be adjusted it seems.

      2. Jockey Ewing
        2nd May 2021, 23:33

        Probably that speed of AT came from their car’s understeeriness, which served them well at the last corners, because it was helpful on the slippery track surface to have a good launch. But then when it came to turning it in at T1 or T4, or at some snappier section, for example Tsunoda struggled. Ferrari was a bit understeery also, that serverd them at about well, but they were not fast, neither was Gasly.

        Meanwhile RB is not famous for being understeery, that might cost them a bit of pace on this slippery surface, as it was hard to drive. Also Max complained about having problems in 3rd gear, I don’t know how long that problem persisted, but I guess 3rd gear would have been quite important around T13 and T14, because 2nd revs up very quickly, and 4rd has a bit less engine breaking than it would be optimal in slower corners, so both options were a bit error prone if he really had a persistent issue with 3rd.

        So imo there are still a lot of open questions about the pecking order.

        Anyway, most often the winner and the one who has the best top speed is not the same. That is just setup, and style preference, and to some extent predetermined by the characteristics of the car. For example Kimi seemingly never gone for top speed, but instead he liked to have some more balanced setup.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          3rd May 2021, 9:03

          The point is more that solely looking at speed trap figures is just sad propaganda from Horner and Verstappen to pretend they were losing 6 or 8 tenths on the straights due to the engine difference.

          While any unbiased analysis of engine performance put the difference at at worst 0.2s in quali trim and Honda’s analysis showed them even closer in race trim.

          In this case it was just that Perez was awfully slow out of the exit onto the straight and overall 2 s slower on the previous lap (going at back marker speeds really). But still people like erikje like to repeat the lie that its the engine that makes the difference.

  13. Point for fastest lap, encouraging 2nd place to pit and drop further from 1st will deprive us of exciting race finishes where the leader makes a mistake and is jumped. It’s a false gamble for a single point. As the Silverstone tyre burst shows.
    Stacking the points to encourage dropping back is counterproductive.

  14. F1oSaurus (@)
    2nd May 2021, 17:05

    Red Bull fastest car for the third race and yet again Hamilton shows why he’s the GOAT.

    Feel a bit sad for Bottas that he couldn’t profit from Verstappen’s Q3 blunder, but they had the faster car and the undercut worked and Bottas couldn’t help having a much slower stop.

    Verstappen wasting another fastest lap on a track limits error means at least Bottas go that point though.

    Perez disappointing, but I never rated him that high anyway.

    The midfield is confusing. It’s like the “ranking” there keep changing. Or perhaps some drivers put too much emphasis on Q3 setup and lost out in the race because of it.

    1. @f1oclown
      Lol, RBR the fastest car?
      So now we’re ignoring the fact that Mercedes drove a 17,9 on yellows in Q2?
      The only reason why Max made it look like the RBR is faster was thanks to Lewis completely failing in q3, as he usually does under pressure.
      Max would have driven a 17,3 on yellows in that car, that’s how superior the Merc is.
      (Just look at the easy drs pass Lewis made on Max, and how they ruined Bottas’ attempt by turning down his engine to hide their incredible pace advantage like they have been doing since 2014, as confirmed by Paddy.)

      1. Why are calling the poster a clown? Just because his opinion is different to yours? I disagree with your reply, should I call you a clown too? Calm down and be civil with others. It is only a sport. Both teams look strong and the advantage will swing at each track. Also all drivers crack under pressure not only Lewis. They are humans like you and me. Also to state that Merc turned down VB’s engine is absurd. They need max points so this would be a stupid thing to do. Have a nice day.

      2. ian dearing
        2nd May 2021, 17:37

        Q2. That would be the one where the front runners make sure they are in the top 10 whilst preserving their race tyres?

      3. RB clearly faster on softs – should have had pole & fastest lap.

        Horner said RB slightly faster on mediums.

        Mercedes faster on hards.

        Probably different next weekend.

      4. Name calling makes your oppinion not worth reading. Grow up.

        1. And writing oppinion makes your opinion also not worth reading, surely for a grammar-focused person!

        2. Fix your grammar.

      5. On the Marbles
        3rd May 2021, 8:48

        “The only reason why Max made it look like the RBR is faster was thanks to Lewis completely failing in q3, as he usually does under pressure.”

        Sorry? Have you been watching the same decade of F1 that I have? if there is one driver who rarely cracks under pressure it’s Hamilton, particularly in Quali, I’ve lost count of the times he’s gone out with only enough time to have one last shot at taking pole and then nailed it.
        That’s not to say he doesn’t make mistakes, even the best do, and sometimes when under very little pressure (e.g. Senna waaaay ahead at Monaco and daydreaming about what he’d make for his dinner, when BANG! into the barrier!).
        The idea that Hamilton, who has 45% more pole positions than anyone else in F1 history, ‘usually’ screws up quali under pressure is ludicrous. Does your mum know you are using the computer unsupervised?

      6. So you were the Oconomo guy all along? Just come clean.

    2. On balance you’d have to say the Merc was the faster car here. Bottas was catching Verstappen on the hards over the second stint today (notwithstanding his weird engine problem) and Hamilton posted (by far) the fastest lap of the weekend in Q2, even if he couldn’t reproduce it in Q3.

      Red Bull were clearly struggling here; Perez was a fair bit slower even than Bottas over the weekend. I think they will ultimately view second as damage limitation – Bottas really should have beaten Max given the overall race pace at his disposal. Hamilton majestic as ever, though Verstappen also drove very well.

      Hopefully RB will be back for Barcelona.

      1. Pretty fair assessment.

      2. F1oSaurus (@)
        2nd May 2021, 21:12

        – Formula 1 Friday analysis showed Red Bull 0.25s faster than Mercedes on race pace.
        – Saturday showed Verstappen faster in FP3 also by a quarter second. Plus he had the pole time deleted due to track limits. Where he in fact lost – time so he would have been a few tenths faster on a good lap.
        – On Sunday he also got the fastest lap.
        – Verstappen was holding station behind Hamilton at 4 to 5s. It was actually down to 4 before he pitted for a fastest lap attempt. And he had pulled half a second extra on Bottas too.

        So Verstappen was fastest on every day.

        Perez is a fair bit slower yes. So?

        1. Pretty simplistic analysis to be honest, there are so many variables that you can’t read much into headline practice times; Mercedes may well have had the engine turned down, given how rapid they were on the straights today. The AWS analysis is invariably terrible as well.

          Verstappen’s fastest lap was like 0.01 faster than Bottas’ – nothing in it, especially if you assume Max would have a tenth or two over Bottas in the same car.

          Verstappen didn’t maximise the car’s potential today when he slid wide out of 14, but given how the race panned out he wouldn’t have pulled away from the Mercs and would probably have been pincered by an undercut/overcut combo. As I said, damage limitation – second was probably the best he could have hoped for. Hamilton was excellent though.

          1. Agree, I’m pretty sure mercedes was fastest both in qualifying and race in portugal, not by far ofc, while at imola red bull qualifying and mercedes race, and finally in bahrain red bull qualifying, race even.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            3rd May 2021, 9:49

            Pretty simplistic analysis to be honest, there are so many variables that you can’t read anything into speed trap figures.

            Even simpler, the fact remains that Verstappen set the fastest lap in Q3 and during the race.

  15. Quite funny to read comments about “dominant” Mercedes. Verstappen clearly had the pace to take pole position, but made a mistake. Had he started on pole, he wouldn’t have been stuck behind Bottas in the race. It wasn’t a flawless weekend to any of the Mercedes or Red Bull drivers, but Max certainly could’ve won this race without the mistake in qualifying.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      2nd May 2021, 17:34

      @hotbottoms I know right, Red Bull fastest in every session (ok for Friday after fuel load correction but still) and still somehow “Mercedes” is dominant. Well Hamilton is, but as 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2021 so far have shown, it’s clearly not just the car.

      1. Gabriel Souza
        3rd May 2021, 0:36

        Mercedes was 1-2 in Q1, Q2 and Q3 but they werent the better car? Lol

        1. Yes, absolutely, if you give the deleted time back to verstappen he has 1 tenth over bottas, then you include hamilton is faster than bottas and give him a couple of tenths over bottas and you have the exact same race ending order in qualifying, and race pace wise, surely for the straight line speed, mercedes was a bit superior, so verstappen could only beat a minor driver like bottas.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          3rd May 2021, 9:55

          Verstappen had the faster times in Q3 and race, but they were disallowed for track limits reasoning. Especially for Q3 he clearly lost time in that corner.

  16. Mammoth final stint from Alonso. Kinda happy to see he’s still got it.

    1. @neutronstar

      I was a little bummed to see him not get off to a great lap 1.. I would have thought he’d get off to a classic Alonso start and make up 3 to 4 positions on lap 1 itself. But his fightback from P14 to P8 was quite stellar. He had some proper pace on those Hard tyres, and I reckon he would have been able to fight Ocon at the end as well if he had just cleared Carlos quicker.

      Hopefully, this is a sign of recovering his form … and that we can see him at a 100% by around race 6 or 7.

  17. Was Lando Norris on mediums or hards for the final stint? I thought he was on mediums, but now I am doubting that after the struggles of Sainz and Gasly. If he was on mediums, that was a seriously impressive drive.

  18. I really hope the championship isn’t decided on fastest laps being deleted.

    1. Davethechicken
      2nd May 2021, 18:16

      Why? It would clearly be unfair for some drivers to follow the rules and others to have special rules.
      I am sure all the teams have people able to read what is written in black and white.
      If Max didn’t know about the track limit rules for this race after all that has already happened this year, well…

    2. Some would think the irony would be hilarious!

  19. Shame about DRS, could have been an interesting race without it.

    1. Seems a recurring theme, imola too.

  20. Dave (@davewillisporter)
    2nd May 2021, 17:37

    The comments:
    RB clearly the fastest car — Merc clearly the fastest car —-

    WHAT are y’all trying to prove? That one driver is only as good as the car and the other is outperforming his car???
    STOP IT!!!!
    This is the closest two teams and two drivers have been in the hybrid era. It will be track specific and driver form / mistakes or lack of them that determines pole and win each weekend.
    That is abundantly clear to anyone with a brain.

    Put a sock in it!

    1. 100% agree Dave.
      Equal cars. Real fights. Finally

    2. Exactly this! Well said.

      And therefore so thrilled to see how this season will unfold.
      We have the goat Hamilton who barely makes mistakes. But also we have Verstappen who – in my opinion – is the only one capable of dethroning Hamilton. I think it’s possible, but only if all falls in place this season.

    3. Agreed! It is going to be quite the battle this year with little things determining who takes it on any given week. Shaping up to be a really fun season.

    4. LB (@burden93)
      2nd May 2021, 18:03

      +1 Exactly this, great comment sir

    5. @Dave – very well said. Neither the Red Bull or Mercedes is fully sorted.

      Both seem plagued by tyre warm up issues – with the Red Bull performing better on the Softs and Mediums, whilst Mercedes performs better on the Hards.

      The Red Bull also seems unable to run its engine in a higher mode for long, whilst Mercedes still have issues clawing back the lost downforce.

      When it is all shaken and stirred, we can see it is swings and roundabouts; with the momentum swinging from one team to the next as the season progresses.

      Basically, neither car seems fully sorted. Red Bull is clearly faster in qualifying, but are being matched by Mercedes in race trim.

      This season is simply going to boil down to which team has the best strategy/pitstops, and which driver makes the least mistakes.

      At least at this moment.

    6. I think it’s just been so long since we’ve had 2 genuinely and consistently competitive teams at the front of the field. 2008 was a prime example of what you’re saying. The Mclarens and Ferraris were very evenly matched, the Ferrari probably had the edge but it was hopeless in the wet!

      1. I’m always surprised that 2017 and 2018 are so easily forgotten @tommy-c. That Ferrari was rapid.

    7. This is the closest two teams and two drivers have been in the hybrid era.

      To be fair.. 2018 was the closest in the hybrid era, at least up until race 11 or so. We have to see if Red Bull can keep up this form for another 8 races before saying this is a season long rivalry. On the two drivers .. I do agree with you Max vs Lewis is a heck of a lot closer than Lewis vs Seb.

      Don’t like to sound like a party pooper… but I reckon Mercedes will be comfortably ahead of Red Bull by the time they reach race 10. Won’t make a difference if Max is driving the wheels off the car or not.

      If Max really wants to fight for the championship this year… he needs to take notes out of Alonso’s 2012 season and look at just maximising every opportunity when Mercedes doesn’t have a clear advantage yet. The 2nd half of the season, Max won’t be able to chase a points leader down.. he should be looking at defending his position at the top.

      1. I think this is a sound comment @todfod. I think as the season goes on Mercs small advantage will take hold and they will end up with another victory in both championships. Not by a huge margin but comfortably enough.

  21. LB (@burden93)
    2nd May 2021, 18:02

    I’m not sure why so many people are complaining or trying to state that one car is clearly faster than the other as if it’s a good thing! Surely we as fans should be celebrating that we finallyyyy have a year where a driver from 2 different teams has a realistic chance at the title.

    We’ve had 3 races so far, and you can genuinely argue that either team could have won in all of them (Verstappen overtook for the lead in Bahrain, Hamilton had pole in Imola, Verstappen had a time good enough for pole and FL in Portugal). At the moment, we seem to have a real fight where the advantage could change depending on the track and anything can happen in a long season, it could end up being a real classic.

    I’m really not sure what some fans want, it’s almost like they are so invested in their favouritism or hatred of a driver that they need to prove driver A is either driving a rocket ship or a tractor, whereas in reality we have 2 incredibly fast well matched cars against 2 incredibly talented well matched drivers.

    Of course fans have their favourites but mannnn just enjoy the battle between these 2 titans of the sport!

    1. Well said!

      The narrative mainly seems to be coming from Max Verstappen fans, who have long claimed that if Max was given a car half as good as the Mercedes, he would annihilate the whole field.

      Now he clearly has that car, and no annihilation is happening yet, they have to create an alternative narrative that the Red Bull is still miles behind Mercedes.

      1. Another possibility is that some including myself noticed that the race pace of the Mercedes was slightly better today than that of the Redbull. There were moments in the race when Max was trailing Bottas he seemed actually a little bit quicker but in the 3rd sector Bottas could get the gap big enough so Max could never overtake him on the straight. When Lewis was behind Bottas he could close this gap just enough to make his overtake (brilliantly) stick.

        This was visible for everyone and it can be the other way around in Barcelona and Monaco.

    2. I say that’s fair, but I think that the Mercedes simply had better race pace today, although not by much. I hope I’m wrong, but it just seems that Mercedes has been clawing back from the deficit to now be slightly ahead. Given this momentum, I think that some of this thinking is also justified.

      Nevertheless, I agree we should be thankful to be able to see the two best drivers in a similar machinery.

    3. The point is that no two teams have a shot at the title (its just Mercedes again). That is Marketing talk fed to the media. After many dull years they had to spice & spin things up. In reality the Mercedes dominance is still there and Max outdriving the RB makes it a little acceptable to watch.

    4. F1oSaurus (@)
      2nd May 2021, 21:30

      @burden93 Well the point is that people have been saying Hamilton has had a dominant car for years even though it was clearly wrong for plenty of seasons (2017, 2018, 2019 and now this season). Sure Hamilton was dominant, but he had only 5 poles in 2019 and won more races than anyone else from the 11 poles scored by Ferrari and Red Bull.

      They claimed that Verstappen would easily win everything if he had a car that was competitive. So it’s good to point out that Verstappen has not just a competitive car, but the outright fastest car and … well … it’s proving to not be so easy.

      If you don’t want to hear this now, you should complain to the people who pretend Hamilton has had the fastest car since 2014.

      1. 2019 was dominant, I can agree with the previous 2 years. Mercedes won all races but 6 in 2019!

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          3rd May 2021, 10:00

          @esploratore The car was not dominant in 2019. Leclerc was faster in Bahrain and Baku, but broke down and crashed. While Vettel was just too slow. So yes they didn’t win, but the car was faster.

          Same with Canada, Austria, Spa, Monza, Singapore, Russia, Japan and Mexico. While Red Bull was fastest in Hungary, Mexco and Brazil.

          That’s 12 races where Mercedes was not fastest. Only 9 times where they actually fastest. In Mexico Mercedes was even only third fastest and yet Hamilton won that race anyway.

          Hamilton won 5 races where a Ferrari driver or Red Bull driver was on pole. Any other driver won only 2 of those 11 races.

          Hamilton was dominant in 2019, the cars were equal or Ferrari was better.

    5. Didn’t Vettel have a chance if the title in 2018 @burden93? Surely it wasn’t that long ago was it?

    6. Did you forget 2017 and 2018 already? It feels like those years.

  22. If Bottas ever wants to get in amongst the championship fight, he has to learn some race-craft. He was disadvantaged by the slow pit stop and having cold tyres but he could at least have positioned his car on the inside to force Verstappen to go around the outside and give himself a chance. Hamilton and Verstappen would never have rolled over like that

    1. Whilst Bottas was again found wanting this race, i don’t think we should blame that particular incident on him. He exited the pits with cold tyres that were known to have severe warm up issues. He was essentially a sitting duck with Verstappen that close.

      I remember the same thing happening to Verstappen in 2019 Silverstone (i think) with Leclerc.

      The responsibility for Bottas exiting that close to Verstappen lies solely on Mercedes. A sub 2 sec pitstop cannot compare to a 3.4 second one.

      This is the season where Mercedes will be severely punished for their regularly shoddy pitstops. They simply don’t have the car advantage to mitigate that issue anymore.

      It is shocking that a team like Mercedes haven’t done anything about the issue for so long. It is an area of gross complacency.

      1. I have to agree about Mercedes pit stops @kbdavies they’ve been lagging behind on that front for years.

        I still would have liked to have seen Bottas at least try to defend against Verstappen tho. Looking at where the cars were going into the braking zone, I don’t think the move was a done deal if Bottas was on the inside. He just left the door wide open

  23. Correction: it was 3.3s (Bottas) vs 2.3s (Verstappen).

    That is a full 1s longer. Never mind that Red Bull regularly pump out 1.9s pitstops.

  24. Its simple… For vers to beat Lewis he must just not make mistakes. Like he did today. Once again he crumbled under the pressure of Lewis as so many others have. And the reason why they crumble is because of entrenched knowledge that Lewis IS the GOAT. Whether they acknowledge it or not. They all know that. And fear Lewis.

    1. In the end all drivers make mistakes. Lewis made a mistake today at the restart and last race he just got saved by the safety car and red flag situation making a mistake. And since he only has a very small lead it will in the end come down to capitalizing on the tracks your car actually is quicker and making as little mistake as you can.

      Its still all to play for

      1. I agree, it’s too early to tell but the Mercedes looks very dominant on race pace yet again. I do not agree with the GOAT (of Wayne) though. LOAT (Luckiest) is more appropriate. Who has ever had such a dominant car 8 years in a row? He certainly is one of the best, he definitely is.

      2. F1oSaurus (@)
        2nd May 2021, 21:34

        @anunaki Verstappen should have won all 3 races so far this season and won only 1.

        Besides Hamilton getting tricked by Bottas at the restart is the advantage Verstappen has that he has no team mate to contend with. The Mercedes drivers are fighting amongst themselves has been leaving opportunities for Verstappen even when he had a slightly slower car. Now that Red Bull has the fastest car, it’s even more of an issue.

        1. Lewis wasn’t tricked he looked in his mirror what Max was doing. At least that’s what Lewis said, maybe you have a better explanation ;)

          You are entitled to have your own view, but I don’t agree on it. I wouldn’t call Bottas Vs Lewis a fight for example

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            3rd May 2021, 10:03

            @anunak He was tricked by Bottas for the restart timing. Either way, it’s clear Verstappen has the faster car this season and yet Hamilton came out ahead by a decent margin

    2. Gabriel Souza
      3rd May 2021, 0:39

      Why the goat was overtaken by Max even tho he was driving a superior car? Not goat like to me

      1. Yes, luckiest of all times makes a lot more sense, if you look at what happens in races like imola when he makes rare mistakes or indeed the most dominant car ever.

      2. F1oSaurus (@)
        3rd May 2021, 10:04

        It makes sense that someone gets overtaken by the faster car? Especially on a restart on a track with a significant tow effect.

        It’s more impressive that the GOAT overtook Verstappen back. Although that was just a case of Verstappen making a mistake.

        1. Gabriel Souza
          3rd May 2021, 13:23

          But Hamilton had the faster car, even more in the straight, his poor racecraft in a restart wasnt very good, nor is starting in the rain, nor overtaking backmarkers.

  25. Solid race.
    While Max did miss out pole and FLAP due to track limits, I still don’t think he could have won today. Lewis was faster on race day and had higher top speed. He was always going to win the race.

    Stars of the weekend: Norris, Schumacher and Ocon. Norris – He could have done more in qualifying but race was absolutely great, putting a move on Red Bull no less. Schumacher – Once again, left Mazepin long behind and even sneaked a place ahead of Latifi. Ocon – While race pace was ok, his qualifying was immense yesterday.

    Great qualifying and although Fernando finished just 2 seconds behind him,

  26. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    2nd May 2021, 20:25

    Great drive by Lewis – so smart and the pass on Bottas was very difficult and very clever.

    Max has to drive better to start leading the championship.

  27. gotta love these “better car” talks.
    So, basically, Hamilton wins because he have the best car. Verstappen loses because he doesn’t?

    That doesn’t make Max look better than Hamilton at all.

    1. It’s quite relevant if you are discussing who the better driver is, which is often the case amongst viewers. Since they don’t drive equal machinery the answer will not be known until they do. So nothing left than to have a look at the differences in the machinery and the amount of minor mistakes both make from time to time

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        2nd May 2021, 21:21

        True, Verstappen had the fastest car for all 3 races and yet he won only 1. That is something to keep in mind.

        Or when Mercedes was so “dominant” in 2019 that Ferrari and Red Bull drivers got 11 poles. Yet Hamilton won more out of those races than any other driver. That’s where he makes the biggest difference. Winning races like this season Bahrain and Portugal where he doesn’t have the fastest car, but still gets the win. Or that when gets rammed off and things go wrong like in Imola, he still finishes P2 (in again not the fastest car)

        1. Gabriel Souza
          3rd May 2021, 0:42

          Max would have 3 poles and 3 wins if they swapped places, it makes me sad that someone legacy is build by having a unfair advantage to anyone else.

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            3rd May 2021, 10:08

            Based on what? Verstappen is clearly not very good at qualifying. When it matters he just can’t seem to get the job done properly.

            He’s done quite poorly getting only one pole when having the fastest car for all 3. It’s just too much pressure for him.

            Also just look at all those wasted Monaco, Mexico, Malaysia and Singapore quali sessions where he had the faster car and binned already ahead of time or could not get a proper lap together when it mattered.

  28. Just another race cheapened by DRS if you ask me.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      2nd May 2021, 21:35

      @joshgeake By tyre differences you mean? Indeed.

  29. A good race. Close fights everywhere and some nice surprises. No silly race resetting safety cars.

    But another poor Red Bull strategy call is like watching Ferrari again all those years. Verstappen sitting behind Bottas until the gap opens up and THEN going for the stop just because they had decided before to do it with 30 laps to go is just hair-pullingly poor. They were just saved by a Bottas mistake. They then keep Perez out to slow Hamilton down which was ridiculous with the speed difference, and they even mess up the fastest lap (should just wait till the last laps to not give Mercedes any ideas). I hope this won’t continue the whole year.

    Speaking of Ferrari, putting Sainz on the soft was something even I could see would not work, and it cost them a bunch of points. It’s so bad that it must still be the same strategist from before (Inaki Rueda).

  30. Headline should read Hamilton uses DRS to very good effect to easily win the race, yawn

    1. That’s one way of looking at it, the other is that his main competitor Verstappen had this race to lose, and did just just that, by stuffing up in Q3 and by stuffing up in the race with a mistake in hat led to him being passed by Hamilton. Hamilton’s pass on Bottas was excellent, easily best pass of the day.

      1. Hamilton stuffed Q3 and was passed by Verstappen following a mistake, yet for some reason your mind has somehow pushed it out, lol

    2. If this close racing is not enough for you, I have an advice: Don’t watch it.

      We finally have races better than Ham vs Ros, Ham vs Vet at the moment, so I am going to enjoy it. We don’t know what happens in 2022, I don’t think it will be this close.

  31. I am really missing F2 and F3. It was such a better grand prix weekend when those series were regularly included. I understand the need to save costs but… :O(

    1. Jockey Ewing
      3rd May 2021, 0:00

      Yes, it could have been much nicer to take F2 here, that to some Yas Marina like, almost-street-circuit, with which the F2 calendar is quite full of now, while, what is wrong to have F3 at this nice venue too. They should have resurfaced it with a much grippier tarmac, these cars would be so fast here, and that would be spectacular in a way, instead of having problems with consistency. Generally what drivers like is good for spectators, and for racing as well, but they are complaining about a lot of things, and the organisers are still often making changes towards the opposite direction. As aero dwonforce can not be much further increased currently without having serious issues with dirty air, they should have gone for a much grippier surface. Would not be it all natural?

  32. Love how everyone assumes its a Merc Domination now. Not sure what your watching but its never been so close! Its the driver making the difference right now! We should be celebrating its this close

  33. I thought it was impressive how close Alpine, McLaren and Ferrari were. Alonso found his mojo in this race. Hopefully Ricciardo gets his back soon too.

    1. Ricciardo’s engineer was pretty satisfied on a team radio directed to him.

  34. All the usual suspects are now crying Mecedes domination when in fact the fight at the front is closer than it has ever been and any season of fromula 1. As long as Lewis wins he has the fastest car even if it is by one tenths of a second over sixty laps.

  35. Lewis drives to the max of his car making it look easy. Bottas in the Same car cant keep up. So its not just the car but down to the driver. Vers has the best or atleast equal car to lewis. He made too many mistakes. And its not unfair if and when a team has a faster car. Its part of F1. The other teams have to catch up. Its always been about driver and car. Right now lewis and merc are perfection. Live with it.

    1. Hamilton made a mistake and was passed by Verstappen. Didn’t you watch the race, or don’t you care whether what you say is true or not?

      1. I don’t think he’s said Lewis was faultless. He wasn’t. The difference is he still won the race despite his errors. Max arguably lost the race due his errors. I don’t think there’s any way anyone could ever argue agains the fact that the Hamilton/Mercedes pairing is a phenomenally successful one and incredibly difficult to beat.

    2. Verstappen made one mistake and lewis took the chance. For the next time, I suggest that Max should get at least 2nd in qualifying, that way he might have less difficulty to win. But it’s always better for viewers if max gets 2nd or 3rd in qualifying. That way racing will be exciting, because he will attack them on the first corner.

  36. Thanks Tommy c thats exactly my point forgive me if i was not clear enough.

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