Nico Rosberg Exposes Max Verstappen’s Costly Errors Against Lewis Hamilton During the 2021 Portuguese F1 Grand Prix

Published 05/03/2021, 6:55 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race alongside second place Red Bull’s Max Verstappen REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo


In the 2021 season, Max Verstappen has emerged as one of the primary thorns on Lewis Hamilton’s side. However, Hamilton’s former teammate and rival, Nico Rosberg, believes that he needs to do more. According to the German driver, the Red Bull star has been making far too many mistakes. The 2016 world champion is of the opinion that Verstappen must be “perfect” in order to seriously threaten Hamilton.

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Rosberg is speaking from experience as he is the only driver in the last seven years to defeat Hamilton. In the build-up to the Portuguese Grand Prix, the championship fight was close between Hamilton and Verstappen. Just a single point separated the two, but that soon increased to eight points.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and second place finisher and World Drivers Champion Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP on the podium during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The Dutchman would have made it seven points, had he not had his fastest lap deleted for exceeding track limits on the last lap of the race. In light of that, Rosberg admitted that Red Bull would have preferred to win. This is largely because they had great pace and the faster car, but ‘too many mistakes’ are hurting him.

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Nico Rosberg has evidence to back his claims

The ex-Mercedes driver highlighted the qualifying session on Saturday. Max Verstappen banged in the fastest lap, but as he fell afoul of the track limits, the lap was deleted. Then, Rosberg moved on to the race, where Verstappen snatched the fastest lap yet again and looked set to grab the bonus point. Unfortunately, lightning struck twice and the lap time got deleted, handing the bonus point to Valtteri Bottas.

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

He added: “What a phenomenal race by Lewis and I’m a bit amused because Max Verstappen is starting to understand better and better how good Lewis Hamilton is. He needs to do everything perfect to beat him in the championship and, at the moment, it is two-one to Lewis.”

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Verstappen knows he can set the fastest laps. Hamilton knows it too, and he also knows that he needs to really step up his game in case Verstappen drives flawlessly. Now, the battle will resume in a week’s time at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Can Max Verstappen cut down on his errors?

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Dhruv George

11433 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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