Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Zandvoort, 2021

Red Bull were “just too fast”, Hamilton admits after losing points lead

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton lost his lead in the drivers’ championship as Max Verstappen out-ran him to win the Dutch Grand Prix.

Verstappen took the chequered flag over 20 seconds ahead of his championship rival, who pitted at the end of the race to fit fresh tyres and take the bonus point for fastest lap. He stayed within touch of Verstappen for much of the race, but only briefly appeared quicker when his rival switched to hard tyres for the final stint.

“Max did a great job,” said Hamilton after the race. “Congratulations to him.

“I gave it absolutely everything today, flat-out. I pushed as hard as I could, but they were just too quick for us.”

Hamilton got within range of Verstappen after the pair made their first pit stops and Valtteri Bottas became the race leader. Verstappen spent a couple of laps stuck behind him but Hamilton was unable to capitalise on the advantage, partly due to time lost in traffic. He said his rival had an easier time with lapped cars.

“I’m going to call him Noah from now on, man,” Hamilton remarked. “Every time he got traffic they just moved out of the way. It was very hard to navigate through all the traffic, but they just had that upper edge, and it’s very hard to follow here.”

Although he was unable to prevent Verstappen from taking the championship lead, Hamilton minimised the damage by taking the bonus point for fastest lap.

“The last lap was one of the best parts of the race for me, because this track is just incredible on a single lap, low fuel,” he said. “This is now one of my favourite tracks, so I’m looking forward to coming back next year.”

While Hamilton hasn’t always had a positive reception from the crowd in the Netherlands, he praised the lively atmosphere at the race.

“Honestly, it’s been an amazing weekend,” he said. “I’ve had an amazing time here in Holland, thanks to the crowd.”

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2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    43 comments on “Red Bull were “just too fast”, Hamilton admits after losing points lead”

    1. Noah or Moses?

      1. My thoughts exactly when I heard that.

      2. Yeah, Lewis got his biblical figures a bit mixed up there.

      3. Whatever floats your boat.. ;)

    2. I think Merc should have tried 3 stopping Hamilton earlier if they really wanted at least a chance to win this race. They had nothing to lose really, Gasly was just way too behind. Lewis and Valterri will not be happy with the team’s decisions today I would imagine.

      1. They 3-stopped only to protect the fastest lap point. A shame.

      2. But by the time third stops were option, Bottas was already too far back from Verstappen & neither Hamilton could get close enough to make such strategy work.

        The only possibility was after the first stops, when Bottas was left on the track and Verstappen had to pass him. But Hamilton initially lost out in traffic and Bottas made mistake into the hairpin and was then defenceless on the mainstraight. After that it was really in Verstappen – Red Bull hands.

    3. Will you say that at Monza?

      1. @kichi-leung He’s referring more to races like Bahrain, Portugal and Spain where Red Bull was only slightly faster and Hamilton could still take the win.

        1. @f1osaurus
          Hahaha, cry more.

          Bottas has outqualified Perez 10-3 this season and outraced him 8-2.

          Mercedes is easily as good as Red Bull, Verstappen is just better than Hamilton.

          1. Lads, forget what pretty much everyone in the F1 paddock is saying (including Horner, Marko, etc), Kingshark thinks he’s got it sussed.


            1. Ah, Mr ad hominem is back.

            2. Why bother with him? Hes clearly on wind up and you dont need to react to his stupid comments. Only encourages him. One number is all that’s needed… 7 👍

            3. It’s practically all Hamilton fans, not just him

            4. @balue True, it’s anyone with eyes and a brain. Even Verstappen fans like Peter Winsor and actually Max Verstappen himself point out that he hasn’t maximized in Q3 though

          2. @kingshark Verstappen agrees with me that he has not maximized his Q3 results over and over. At least he is honest enough to say when he didn’t. But I guess when he says that you just ignore it.

            1. Even when Verstappen doesn’t maximize his Q3 performance he’s still doing better than Hamilton, because he’s simply more talented.

            2. Verstappen agrees with me that he has not maximized his Q3 results over and over. At least he is honest enough to say when he didn’t. But I guess when he says that you just ignore it.

              It seems @f1osaurus only care about quali. Mercedes was somewhat faster than Red Bull in Portugal and Spain in race pace, not over one-lap.

        2. Absolutely disagree with red bull being slightly faster in portugal and spain, mercedes was faster, not to the extent red bull was in austrian races, but still noticeably, while in bahrain I think they were up there, with red bull faster in quali.

          1. @esploratore1 If you had seen/read the expert analysis done by the pundits, they all agreed that Red Bull was faster. The problem was that Verstappen did his best lap at the end when the track was slower. He was actually faster than his first run when the track was faster.

        3. You know what? I’d like to have a poll on stuff like this: who had the fastest car in quali, and who in the race in bahrain, spain etc., would be interesting and I’m sure “mercedes fastest” option would win for portugal and spain.

    4. The Noah or Moses thing will cause a lot of laughter, but what I don’t get from Hamilton’s logic is that he finds it weird that blue flagged cars get out of the way of the race leader. I mean, that’s how it’s supposed to be? Nevermind that Bottas, who is essentially a backmarker, and every Williams and Aston Martin takes forever to let Verstappen past. Is Hamilton really going to hang his frustrations on *the proper way to let race leaders by*? Bit odd that.

      1. Roger that, anti-Ham fan

      2. It is just where you meet the cars that determines how they ease your lapping them. The thing that happens on this kind of circuit is that once a driver has let the first car past, he is reluctant to lose too much time in letting by the second car at the earliest possible moment.

      3. So the race leader who would not have had blue flags should have moved out of Max’s way because in your world he is no more than a back marker?
        But thank you for being observant and noticing half the field was holding Max up. Given the gains Max made during traffic it shows what a beast of a car that RB is to clear Ham so easily despite his numerous hold ups. Personally I thought it was the other way round, Ham getting held up, but then making inroads into Max’s lead quite easily. Not so impressive by Max now knowing that

      4. @hahostolze Hamilton complaining others have better luck than him is the hilarious bit here. But as we saw, he got plenty lucky in several instances with backmarkers and caught Verstappen, so it wasn’t even real. Just as with all the other complaints with tyres going off early etc.

      5. The first time in F1 history that a driver complains the backmarkers get out of the way too soon after blue flags. LOL.

    5. Red Bull are dominating. If it were not for the Silverstone and Hungary crashes, Max would be more than 50 points clear of Hamilton.
      Red Bull car is competitive and adaptive on EVERY track. If they win at Monza then it is game over for Hamilton and Mercedes and they would be better off focusing fully to develop next year’s car.

      1. Don’t forget the tyre blow in Azrbayan a few laps before the finish.
        Max should be a miles ahead!

        1. Agreed. But the speed of the merc does not show any real difference.
          So probably the driver makes the difference. M

          1. Probably. 7

            1. Sorry Dean, you would get a reply if Keith wasn’t so keen to see this site go to the dogs.

              And to think he’s asking for money for it. Jesus.

      2. @amg44 A lot of that has come through Hamilton errors and poor driving. Imola, Baku and Monaco for example.

      3. I think the cars are up there, very slight red bull performance advantage across the season so far I think, and that can easily turn around, and apart from that if verstappen won at monza with hamilton 2nd and fastest lap, that’s only 6 points gained, it’s nothing when a win with the other driver out allows you to recover 25-26.

        1. Merc car has been hamstrung all season 2 races they were on it, otherwise it’s been Rbr all the way.

          Not expecting Perez to be comparable to Bottas as no.2’s as Perez still needs to find his feet with the car despite what he says.

          Good thing is with the tools Max is proving that he can deliver when asked. I just wished Mercs didn’t start the season with a deficit.

          But overall on driver performance I’d still say Max is ahead and Hamilton is out of his comfort zone, but is still delivering.

    6. I Honestly don’t think Mercedes wanted to spoil the party.

      Verstappen wins on his home track, its first F1 race since it closed in 1985.. that was always going to be the story.

      1. They tried, verstappen is just a strong driver, but mercedes still has a great car, I have a hard time thinking the cars are identical and hamilton is always so close to verstappen, I think mercedes could have that extra 1-2 tenths, but hard to say, perez not being there doesn’t help at estimating car performance.

    7. “ Bottas has outqualified Perez 10-3 this season and outraced him 8-2.

      Mercedes is easily as good as Red Bull, Verstappen is just better than Hamilton.”

      The hypothesis that Max is the superior driver is closer to the truth than the hypothesis that RB has intrinsically the fastest car on avg this season.

      Look what Perez did in the pink Merc last year. Now calculate what Max would have done if you correct for his 0.3s speed advantage.
      Then all pundits would have reported that Pink Merc was 2nd fastest car last season .

      1. Complicated comment, but I think you’re saying verstappen is likely doing a better job than hamilton (ofc, hamilton threw away a lot of points, but you probably mean pure speed) rather than red bull being faster, if so I agree, hard to say where red bull really is with just 1 driver.

    8. Agree with Hamilton. Another race where RBR and Verstappen just slightly had the edge. Would’ve been an interesting battle to see if Hamilton had taken the lead at the start: now it seemed that the very slightly slower car was behind the very slightly faster one, and couldn’t quite nail the strategy nor the pace on track – if the reverse had happened, I think the racing would’ve been more interesting.

      1. I’m pretty sure hamilton would’ve won if he had been ahead on lap 1, there wasn’t enough speed differential to overtake.

    9. I think they were about evenly matched. 2-3 second gap the whole race.

      1. Think so too, I wouldn’t give this race to any of the 2 in the performance counter, and quali is also a mystery, I think red bull was maybe stronger there since verstappen had a small issue.

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