Max Verstappen says he hopes F1 NEVER returns to Portimao after Red Bull star endures frustrating Portuguese Grand Prix losing to Lewis Hamilton … but Dutchman insists Barcelona will level the playing field
An exasperated Max Verstappen wished Formula 1 would never return to Portimao after the Dutchman gave in to Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship after a frustrating Portuguese Grand Prix.
Verstappen impressed Imola last time by taking the win, but there was no repeated smile in Portugal when he finished second.
The result, which he lost to title rival Hamilton, leaves him eight points behind the Mercedes star and Verstappen angered his dislike of the Portimao circuit.
Max Verstappen was baffled by the quality of the circuit for the Portuguese Grand Prix
The Red Bull star (back) was defeated by title rival Lewis Hamilton in Portimao on Sunday
‘I didn’t enjoy the whole weekend because of the grip here,’ Verstappen told Sky F1. ‘I hope we don’t come back.
‘Barcelona [venue for the next race] good. It’s a great track for an F1 car and I think we’ll see more of what the teams’ progression has been like from the start of the season to today.
“Obviously I lacked a little bit of grip, a little bit of top speed, just not being able to pressure Mercedes.”
Verstappen (left) was not impressed, as he wished F1 not to return to the track
Verstappen started third on the grid and although he finished ahead of pole sitter Valtteri Bottas, he was not satisfied with the display.
The Dutchman thought he had narrowed the gap in the standings to seven points after securing the fastest lap at the end – only to see that time cut for going over track limits, something that affected him in Saturday’s qualifying. .
‘Really? That’s a good one, ” added Verstappen when questioned that it was going to be a trend of his 2021 season.
“That’s a bit strange because they didn’t check the track limits in Turn 14, but whatever.”
It proves quite a fight between Hamilton and Verstappen as the Mercedes star chases a record eighth world championship and takes him past Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton spoke of the ‘immense’ pressure on drivers involved in this year’s title fight
Hamillton added, ‘None of us here have any illusions about how difficult it is, how close the battle is and how we all give absolutely everything in our daily lives to be as prepared as possible and.
‘The pressure is enormous. Of course it’s great if you have a race like today where you can overtake and take advantage of the small margins.
But at the same time Max gave us a great run for our money. We will continue to keep it clean and sharp. It’s thanks to the respect we have for each other and that’s what makes great races and great drivers.
‘It will stay that way for the rest of the season. It’s a great fight between Mercedes and Red Bull and it’s clear we’ll be pushing to the last race. We will be tired of each other by the end. ‘