Max Verstappen Explains ‘Extra Dimension’ Behind Lewis Hamilton’s Mistakes Under Pressure

Published 06/08/2021, 4:40 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race on the podium with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


As the sun set on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, both championship contenders rued missed opportunities in the ‘Land of Fire.’ While Max Verstappen could have extended his lead in the driver’s championship, Lewis Hamilton had the chance to retake that top spot.

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However, with both drivers finishing outside the points for the first time this season, Verstappen breathed a sigh of relief, as he kept his four-point lead in the driver’s championship intact.

After a dramatic race in Baku, the Dutchman spoke about his title rival. He highlighted the battles Hamilton has ahead of him, as well as the mistakes he’s made this season.

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Max Verstappen outlines Hamilton’s battle with him as well as with teammate Valtteri Bottas

Verstappen looks more threatening than ever this season. With 105 points in six races, the Dutchman had finished no lower than second before disaster struck in Baku. A rear tire blowout gave him his first DNF of the season, despite Red Bull’s superiority on Sunday.

However, he remained ahead of his title rival Lewis Hamilton, who finished out of the points for the first time since the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix. This stat highlighted the Briton’s Sunday prowess, which Verstappen is wary of in his pursuit for his first world title.

The Dutchman believes the Briton’s battles with him and Bottas are putting him under immense pressure. He also believes the seven-time world champion, just like every F1 driver, is trying to be the best. He said“Everyone is trying to do their best, right? I’m not going to say he makes mistakes because he feels pressure. Everyone is trying to get the most out of it, so am I.

“Lewis has to fight not only with his team-mate this year, but also with another team. That adds an extra dimension and I think that is only good for the sport.” (Translated via Google Translate)

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Verstappen expects a “very strong Mercedes” on normal tracks

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Although Red Bull have had the upper hand so far, Verstappen believes the next few races provide Mercedes with opportunities to fight back in the championship.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after qualifying in third position REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The Dutchman said, “Our car was very good, but to be honest I expect a very strong Mercedes on normal tracks.”

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Red Bull head into the French Grand Prix still leading both championships. With Sergio Perez’s win in Baku, the Austrian outfit now have a 26-point lead over Mercedes. However, the Silver Arrows have won both editions of the French Grand Prix since its return to the calendar in 2018.

Can Verstappen and Red Bull counter Mercedes’ threat in the races to come?

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Sanket Nair

648 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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