Verstappen Needs Hamilton to ‘Make Mistakes’ to Keep F1 Title Fight Alive: Palmer

Published 05/10/2021, 10:30 AM CDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys


Without a doubt, Max Verstappen is the only man part of the current F1 grid who can challenge Lewis Hamilton. Until Imola, the Dutchman kept Hamilton honest in the championship standings. Unfortunately, he failed to surge ahead in Portugal as well as the Spanish Grand Prix, and Lewis extended his points lead from one to eight, and now, to fourteen.

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As the F1 paddock heads to Monaco in two weeks’ time, can he claw back the advantage?

Admittedly, Hamilton has not been turning in flawless performances at every race. So, if Verstappen can get his act together when the Mercedes driver falters, he could stand a chance.

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In a recent podcast, ex-F1 driver Jolyon Palmer spoke about the Dutchman’s chances. He noted that both drivers turned in perfect races at the Catalunya circuit. This is why Max desperately needs something to go wrong for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.

What else did he say about Max Verstappen?

Truthfully speaking, a race like Imola should have been punishing for the Knight. When he is on song, Lewis Hamilton is absolutely unstoppable. It is truly incredible how he is able to keep pushing the car in every lap, all while conserving his tires. He said, “The mistake that we saw in Imola, was so rare. I think Verstappen needs another one to creep in.”

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with a trophy after finishing second in the race REUTERS/Albert Gea

“He’s got to try and take the win because he needs to narrow that gap. Back from 14 points, if Hamilton wins again, we’re looking at 20+ points. There, the writing is on the wall, so Verstappen needs to bounce back. He needs Hamilton to make more mistakes.”

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Palmer and company also looked back at the goof up that Red Bull had in the pit lane. It was a rare mistake for a team that is supposedly known for lightning-fast pit stops. However, they have been susceptible in the past, as Daniel Ricciardo fell victim to the pit lane mix-up in Monaco a few years ago.

As the Austrian team prepare for a mistake-less weekend at the track, Max Verstappen will be keen to try and close the gap to his championship rival. At this stage, the ‘Flying Dutchman‘ cannot afford any mistakes. The same applies to Hamilton, and given that he wants to break the record for the most Formula One world championships this year, the stakes are even higher for him.

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Dhruv George

11642 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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