‘Hope We Don’t Come Back’ – Max Verstappen Reveals His Hatred for ‘Super-Slippery’ Portimao F1 Circuit

Published 05/04/2021, 3:25 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 1, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


It has only been a year since the Portuguese Grand Prix made its way into the F1 race calendar, and the circuit is already starting to receive substantial hate from one of the title contenders, Max Verstappen.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Red Bull driver had an awful race weekend in Portimao, though the end result doesn’t suggest the same; Verstappen did manage to split the two Mercedes drivers on the podium.

But that was only after the Dutchman drove his heart out amidst a lot of different factors pulling back his car’s performance. Hence, following the race, Verstappen hoped that he would never return to this circuit in the future.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What did Max Verstappen say?

As reported by Autosport, Verstappen heaved a sigh of relief when he saw the checkered flag and reckoned that he never enjoyed the weekend in Portimao.

I didn’t like the whole weekend, because of the grip levels here,” he said. “I hope we don’t come back. Barcelona is good. It is a good track for an F1 car. And I think we will see more about how the teams have progressed since the beginning of the season until today.” (Translated from Portuguese using Google Translate)

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

“I clearly lacked a little grip, a little maximum speed. And I was not able to put pressure on Mercedes,” Verstappen said.Lewis passed Valtteri, but I still couldn’t get through. And in the last two corners, I lost too much time.

The fact that the circuit was relaid recently caused it to be extremely slippery. And the varying altitude throughout the circuit is more of the icing on the cake. Hence, it was already a mountainous job for the drivers to keep their cars on track.

However, Portimao is quite famous for its heavy gust of winds, considering it is located on the South coast of Portugal. As expected, the breezy conditions made a substantial impact on the lightweight F1 cars throughout the race weekend.

Never had the pace to fight Hamilton: Verstappen

Although Verstappen showed signs of fighting Hamilton for the win ahead of the weekend, the prospects of it actually happening diminished as he arrived for the qualifying session.

What’s more, his struggles continued to haunt him through the race as well, which ultimately denied him any chances of beating the seven-time world champion.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during the race REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

I think the team called me at a good time. And I had a strong lap because the track was super slippery. There was never really a point where I thought, ‘ok, we have the pace to fight Hamilton’. So I just tried to stay in second,” he said.

As it stands, Verstappen is now eight points adrift of his title rival, which has increased from the one-point difference between the two before the start of the Portuguese Grand Prix. Hence, the Dutchman will be aching to bring the gap down again over the upcoming race weekend in Barcelona. But how far will he succeed in this?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Spanish GP Predictions: Can Max Verstappen Break Lewis Hamilton’s 4-Race Winning Streak at Barcelona-Catalunya?

8 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Rohit Kumar

642 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT