Lewis Hamilton on the 'split second' that saw Max Verstappen capitalise in Portugal


Lewis Hamilton may have won the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix from third place on the grid, but it wasn’t as straightforward as he would’ve hoped in Portimao.

After a brief Safety Car spell due to the damaged Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen, polesitter Bottas led the way for the restart, with the Finn backing the pack up until the very last corner, with Hamilton second and Max Verstappen third.

But Verstappen seemed to catch Hamilton napping, and swept round the outside of the Mercedes into turn 1 in an audacious move on the Briton.

The Dutchman held his nerve and moved up to second, something that left Hamilton furious at himself.

“It was interesting, because I was focusing naturally no Valtteri and literally just for a split second I looked in my mirror to see where Max was, and literally in that split second, that’s when Valtteri went,” Hamilton said.

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“So I lost out to Valtteri, -” with Bottas interjecting: “I could see you in my mirrors,” before the pair shared a laugh, with Hamilton continuing: “So, that wasn’t great.”

“And then I was in Valtteri’s tow,” Hamilton explained, turning to Verstappen to his left and continued: “You were about to pull out and I pulled out and gave you Valtteri’s tow.

“I was like ‘You idiot’ to myself, you know. So then after that, being behind the two – what a great track.

“It enabled us to fight close in that first stint, and I think that’s really what the fans want. i think that’s definitely what I want from a racing point of view.

“And this track is really great because you can have certain different lines at certain corners, a bit like Austin so it was really awesome.”

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“It’s very tight, and I saw he had gone in for the fastest lap and got it, but obviously Valtteri ended up with it in the end,” he explained.

“But as you can see, it’s a great fight between Mercedes and Red Bull, and I’m sure also down the field, and I think it’s clear we’re going to pushing each other until the last race, we’re going to be sick of each other at the end I imagine, or at least sick of racing because there’s so many races.”



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