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Portuguese Grand Prix 2021

Hamilton and Verstappen hit out at Portimao track surface

The Portimao tarmac has been a controversial topic following qualifying with Max Verstappen particularly vocal about the asphalt which was resurfaced last year.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

The track surface at Portimao has become a major talking point at this weekend's Portuguese GP as many drivers struggled with the lack of grip on the 4.65km circuit.

Max Verstappen feels the fun has been taken away from the venue and has not enjoyed his driving experience in Portugal.

"I didn't enjoy one single lap this weekend just because of the state of the track," Verstappen told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

"The layout is amazing but the grip we are experiencing is not nice. I know it's the same for everyone but for me personally it's just not enjoyable to drive.

"I remember coming here last year before the Grand Prix, and it was in my top three of my favourite tracks, but then they change the tarmac and I don't enjoy it anymore."

Article continues below image

Turkey's Istanbul circuit also featured new tarmac which caused big problems last year. Lewis Hamilton has questioned why circuit organisers are changing the surface.

"Last year here [Portugal] we were faced with the same the same issue of very peaky grip, and very narrow grip window," Hamilton told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

"I don't really understand what they have done to make it worse. Turkey used to have good grip and obviously last time we went there, we had none.

"We're finding we're going to more and more circuits that seem to be changing the tarmar so it's not that great when we were struggling for grip. It means it's harder than to follow and so then it has that knock on effect."

Valtteri Bottas took pole position for Sunday's Portuguese GP and has been more optimistic about the track surface and believes everyone is in the same boat when it comes to optimising performance on the low-grip circuit.

"I really liked the layout, I think it's cool and I always like the elevation changes," Bottas told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

"It brings a lot of character. There are all kinds of different type of corners here so that's good but it's extremely low grip which makes it more tricky.

"For sure, a bit less enjoyable than if it would be a grippy tarmac, but it's the same for everyone and it's about trying to make the most of it."

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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