Lewis Hamilton found at Max Verstappen a real and serious title opponent after years and years of Mercedes domination. The Spanish Grand Prix It likely reverses the trend of this year in Formula 1 as the seven-time world champion is pushed out by the young (yet experienced) Dutchman.
The Mercedes driver started first in Catalonia but was crossed in the main straight line by Verstappen who swooped in from the inside to make an early lead. After the first batch of stops, the positions ahead remained unchanged, but Mercedes opted for a bold strategy by calling the Briton into the waiting lane for the second stop.
Lewis Hamilton, 22 seconds behind Max Verstappen, managed to pass the recovery drive to pass the Red Bull driver by just seven laps. Hamilton and Mercedes beat struggling Verstappen, and the Dutchman finished second and got an extra point to score the fastest time in Spain.
“We were still here late evenings discussing strategy and we had all the rules in that regard.” Hamilton said after the race, “Of course, that just meant that I had to do the job on the right track and that coming back from 21 seconds was not easy but it was the call. Correct in the end. “
Only four races in the 2021 season, one pattern takes shape: The title pursuit will not be as straightforward as Lewis Hamilton had been with Verstappen fighting tenaciously to win his first World Championship at the end of the year. The 23-year-old is trying to collect any possible point because the fight will be tight and every point will be counted at the end.
Max Verstappen said after the Spanish Grand Prix that he “tried everything” to ward off Hamilton in the dying stage of the race. He added: “I did it as well as I could, but it is not enough when they push you and it is clear that they have more speed.”
Lewis Hamilton leads the drivers’ standings with 94 points, ahead of Verstappen with 80 points and Valtteri Bottas with 47 points.
Only the Mercedes driver and Red Bull driver finished the first four races on the podium, but Hamilton had only three wins to finish the race behind his rival in Imola. A Red Bull driver could have won the opening game of the season at Sakhir Stadium but made a mistake, giving Hamilton a silver platter the victory.
The 36-year-old English driver revealed after the Spanish Grand Prix that he is enjoying clipping on the track with a Red Bull driver. He said, “Max has more experience now and he’s clearly incredibly hungry to win more races and win this championship, so it’s continuing. That’s what we are here to do, to race, to fight for victories, and the battles we had in these first few races were amazing.” I am excited to have fun more. “
Previously, the title fight was limited to an internal battle between Mercedes drivers, with Hamilton winning the world championship almost all of the time, except in 2016 where Nico Rosberg defeated his teammate in a hugely epic year.
Bottas was named after Rosberg’s successor and he had a lot of responsibility to be stubborn but didn’t live up to expectations. In fact, Finn has been enlisted to assist Hamilton in his pursuit rather than his own ambition, as Mercedes is looking for a driver who can be easily tamed and will not cause friction within the team.
Formula 1 is heading to Monaco next weekend to participate in the fifth round of the season as Hamilton has already won three times (2008, 2016 and 2019). The 2020 edition has been canceled due to the pandemic.
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