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Formula 1

Driver of the Day: Vintage Hamilton takes 97th F1 victory

Despite failing to take pole in qualifying on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton certainly made up for it in Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix. After the Brit found his way past teammate Valtteri Bottas, there was no looking back which is why he's RacingNews365.com's Driver of the Day.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

While it wasn't quite as thrilling as his win in Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton put on quite the performance in Portimao to take home the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Mercedes driver lined up alongside teammate Valtteri Bottas to start the race after failing to take what would have been his 100th career pole on Saturday. Things didn't start too strongly on Sunday either as after the safety car was deployed on Lap 1, Hamilton was caught out by title rival Max Verstappen at Turn 1 after the Lap 7 restart, dropping to third in the process.

Rather than back down from the challenge, the Brit took his performance to another level from there, retaking his position four laps later and then making the race-winning pass on Bottas on Lap 20.

"That was such a tough race physically and mentally," said Hamilton post-race. "I didn't get quite as good a start as Valtteri and then lost out at the restart which was not good. I really had to position myself as best I could after that.

"Max made a mistake at some point which was perfect and I knew that was going to be the lap where I could be as close as I could in the last sector.

"With Valtteri I had to make the move early on before the tyres were destroyed and I managed to just get in front at Turn 1. It was right on the limit and great racing."

Hamilton never looked back from there, carefully managing proceedings and always setting the pace despite complaining about the condition of his Pirelli tyres.

"The tyres are pretty shot," Hamilton told his team on the radio, seemingly opening the door for Verstappen to mount a comeback. The opposite was true, as the Brit continued to build his lead, never easing up despite the challenges thrown his way.

In the end Verstappen waved the white flag, with Red Bull bringing the Dutchman in for a late pit stop in an attempt to earn an extra point via the fastest lap of the race. It didn't work out, and left Verstappen a bit confused.

The victory is Hamilton's 97th career victory and sees him extend his lead atop the standings to eight points over Verstappen, and he'll look to add to his win tally next weekend when F1 travels to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

The latest news about the Portuguese Grand Prix straight from the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.

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