Nico Rosberg’s Portuguese GP verdict after Lewis Hamilton increases title lead over Max Verstappen


“He needs to do everything perfect to beat him in the championship and at the moment it’s two-one to Lewis,” says Nico Rosberg after Lewis Hamilton wins at Portimao; Hamilton enjoys “great race” to rebound from being overtaken by Max Verstappen early on

Last Updated: 02/05/21 5:49pm











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Sky F1’s Nico Rosberg explains why Max Verstappen cannot afford to make any mistakes in his title battle with Lewis Hamilton.

Sky F1’s Nico Rosberg explains why Max Verstappen cannot afford to make any mistakes in his title battle with Lewis Hamilton.

Nico Rosberg believes Max Verstappen is “starting to understand better and better how good Lewis Hamilton is” after losing out to the Mercedes driver at the Portuguese GP.

Hamilton turned third place behind Verstappen and early race leader Valtteri Bottas on the lap-seven restart into a commanding first place after overtaking both his two chief rivals.

Hamilton, who started second, was passed by Verstappen after the early Safety Car, but capitalised on a small error by his Red Bull rival to get back past four laps later. He then caught and passed Bottas with a bold move into Turn One.

“What a phenomenal race by Lewis,” said Rosberg, Hamilton’s former team-mate and arch-title rival on Sky Sports F1.

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Karun Chandhok was at the SkyPad to analyse all the best action from the Hamilton & Verstappen overtakes

Karun Chandhok was at the SkyPad to analyse all the best action from the Hamilton & Verstappen overtakes

“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’s two-one to Lewis.”

How Hamilton turned it around vs rivals in Portimao

Lap 1

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Bottas leads the grid’s top three in formation away form the start, with Hamilton keeping ahead of Verstappen’s Red Bull in second place.

Bottas leads the grid’s top three in formation away form the start, with Hamilton keeping ahead of Verstappen’s Red Bull in second place.

Lap 7

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After Bottas controlled the pack down the pit straight as the race restarted following the Kimi Raikkonen-triggered Safety Car, Verstappen gets a great run on Hamilton and sweeps around the Mercedes for second place out of Turn One.

After Bottas controlled the pack down the pit straight as the race restarted following the Kimi Raikkonen-triggered Safety Car, Verstappen gets a great run on Hamilton and sweeps around the Mercedes for second place out of Turn One.

Lap 11

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A small error from Verstappen at the end of the previous lap puts Hamilton back on his tail and the Mercedes reclaims second place

A small error from Verstappen at the end of the previous lap puts Hamilton back on his tail and the Mercedes reclaims second place

Lap 20

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It’s the lead of the race for the first time for Hamilton with a great move on his team-mate after reeling in the sister Mercedes

It’s the lead of the race for the first time for Hamilton with a great move on his team-mate after reeling in the sister Mercedes

Hamilton’s verdict on the race and win

Hamilton’s victory opens up a slender eight-point advantage over Verstappen after three races heading into the Spanish GP next week.

“I’m telling you, that was such a tough race!” said Hamilton of his 97th career win.

“Physically and mentally just keeping everything together. It was very windy out there so it was very easy to put a foot wrong. I just didn’t quite get as good a start as Valtteri and then lost out on the restart [to Verstappen] which was not good. I was not happy about that, naturally.

“I really had to position myself the best I could and, I can’t remember, but I think Max made a mistake at some point through the lap which was like perfect and I knew that was going to be the lap that I’d be the close that I could to him in the last sector.

“Then with Valtteri, I had to make the move early on before the tyres were destroyed and managed to just get him in Turn One. Right on the limit, but great race.”

More to follow…





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