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Mercedes, Red Bull deliver verdicts on Portuguese GP as ‘super tight’ F1 2021 battle continues


“We knew this would be a track that would favor Mercedes,” said Christian Horner, the Red Bull boss happy with Max Verstappen’s second behind Lewis Hamilton; Mercedes’ Toto Wolff says his team ‘goes viral’ for the first time since 2013

Last updated: 02/05/21 18:29 pm



Mercedes, Red Bull deliver verdicts on Portuguese GP as ‘super tight’ F1 2021 battle continues







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Karun Chandhok was at SkyPad to analyze the battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Portimao

Karun Chandhok was at SkyPad to analyze the battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Portimao

Christian Horner says Red Bull is happy to walk away with Max Verstappen’s second place behind Lewis Hamilton of the Portuguese GP because they “knew” that the Portimao weekend would suit Mercedes.

Red Bull, seeking to end Mercedes’ seven-year domination of the F1 title, appeared to start the season with a faster car in the first two rounds of 2021, but were caught in Portugal as the world champions took pole position and, helped by a Hamilton overtake on Verstappen, the race victory.

Mercedes also extended its title lead over Red Bull in the constructor and driver standings.

But, speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Red Bull boss Horner insisted the difference between the two cars at Portimao was “very, very marginal” and “we knew it would be a track that would favor Mercedes “.

“To get out of here with second place, we’re definitely going to take that,” Horner added. “I think Max drives the wheels of the car and it’s super tight between them.

Mercedes, Red Bull deliver verdicts on Portuguese GP as ‘super tight’ F1 2021 battle continues

Mercedes, Red Bull deliver verdicts on Portuguese GP as ‘super tight’ F1 2021 battle continues 1:28
Lewis Hamilton looks back on Max Verstappen as he takes his Mercedes back to second place

Lewis Hamilton looks back on Max Verstappen as he takes his Mercedes back to second place

“We are in the third race, we are eight points behind the drivers … it’s nothing. This championship is going to be a marathon rather than a sprint.

“Pushing them up and dividing them up here like we did, I think that’s really encouraging. I think next week [at the Spanish GP] will be another litmus test. “

Mercedes are 18 points ahead of Red Bull in the team standings – which they have managed since the start of 2018. On Sunday, Valtteri Bottas, Verstappen and Hamilton were tied in the opening stint – before a double overtake by Hamilton allow it. to distance itself from its rivals.

Mercedes, Red Bull deliver verdicts on Portuguese GP as ‘super tight’ F1 2021 battle continues

Mercedes, Red Bull deliver verdicts on Portuguese GP as ‘super tight’ F1 2021 battle continues 2:40
Lewis Hamilton gave us a glimpse of how he won the Portuguese Grand Prix after briefly passing third behind his two main rivals.

Lewis Hamilton gave us a glimpse of how he won the Portuguese Grand Prix after briefly passing third behind his two main rivals.

But Verstappen was never far behind before a late pit stop for an attempted fastest lap.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the team had a real “buzz” as the close battle with Red Bull continued.

“It’s a really great gang to work with at Brixworth and Brackley, they keep pushing,” Wolff told Sky F1. “Even when we were late for the winter testing in Bahrain, it’s a buzz that we haven’t felt in the squad since 2013, when we had that first sniff that we could be there.

“The place is excited and continues to be excited and I would like to be happy after the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi.”

Mercedes, Red Bull deliver verdicts on Portuguese GP as ‘super tight’ F1 2021 battle continues

Mercedes, Red Bull deliver verdicts on Portuguese GP as ‘super tight’ F1 2021 battle continues 1:17
Lewis Hamilton sweeps away Valtteri Bottas to take Portimao lead

Lewis Hamilton sweeps away Valtteri Bottas to take Portimao lead

Wolff also praised Hamilton for his “absolutely mind-blowing training” in Portugal, but stressed: “You could hear in his voice how hard he was pushing, so it was never a situation where he could let go, as the gaps were. just too short. “

The team boss, however, sympathized with Bottas after the poleman missed the opportunity to attack Verstappen for the second after an engine sensor failure towards the end of the race.

“These three have been in a class of their own and he probably would have stood a chance on Max if we hadn’t let him down with the power unit,” added Wolff.

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