WATCH: Max Verstappen’s Big Mistake Before Lewis Hamilton’s Stunning Pass in Portimao

Published 05/02/2021, 3:21 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with a trophy after finishing second in the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys


The Portuguese Grand Prix witnessed a rather predictable end to the race, with Lewis Hamilton standing tall at the top, and Max Verstappen trailing to take home P2.

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However, the result could have taken an entirely different path if not for Verstappen’s untimely blunder during the early part of the race.

Verstappen’s blistering start to the race

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Ever since lights out, Verstappen looked incredibly pacy. He gave his everything to get past either of the Mercedes drivers before turn 1 but failed to do so. However, then came the Kimi Raikkonen incident, which forced the stewards to call in the safety car.

Eventually, as the marshals cleared out the debris from the Alfa Romeo, the cars were set for a running start, which looked like the only chance for Verstappen to make a move.

Max having a couple of big slides in the last corner dropping him out of Bottas’ DRS and allows Lewis to overtake from formula1

And rightfully so, the Dutchman made an incredible maneuver to break past Hamilton, who had a moment of relapse during the safety car restart.

And considering his pace at that time, the odds were falling over the Dutchman to jump past a struggling Valtteri Bottas as well. However, the windy conditions ultimately played spoilsport in Verstappen’s chances of fighting for a race win.

How did Lewis Hamilton get past Verstappen?

The only thing that kept Verstappen safe from Hamilton was DRS; the Dutchman maintained the sub-1-second gap to Bottas, making life harder for Hamilton to even think about making a move for P2.

However, as the Red Bull driver drove around Galp, he had a minor moment with his car’s unstable rear. It looked like Verstappen may have had a couple of wobbles, which left him well off the DRS range from Bottas.

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

What’s more, Hamilton managed to inch closer and get within 1 second before crossing the DRS detection zone. And since it was a much smoother exit out of the final turn for Hamilton, Verstappen stood no chance of defending his position against the fast-approaching 7-time world champion.

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From there on, Hamilton was almost unstoppable, as he eventually got past his teammate to lead the race. Meanwhile, Red Bull were left to battle against Bottas, which they managed to do with perfection, and sandwiched Verstappen between the two Mercedes drivers on the podium.

But can Verstappen get his redemption at the Circuit de Catalunya over the upcoming race weekend? Only time will tell.

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DIVE DEEPER

Lewis Hamilton Explains “Mistake” Which Saw Verstappen Pass Him in Portimao

3 months ago

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Rohit Kumar

913 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.

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