In 2021 the championship battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton is in full swing. Lewis managed to land the first blow by winning the first race of the season, Max fought back at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and yesterday at the Portuguese Grand Prix, Lewis again managed to beat his younger colleague.
When journalists said the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen seemed very “tight”, Lewis agreed.
“It’s very tight,” said Hamilton after the race.
“As you can see it is a great fight between Mercedes and Red Bull and we will be pushing each other right to the last race.
“We’re going to be sick of each other at the end I would imagine, or sick of racing because there are so many races.”
Red Bull seemed to have an advantage in the first two races of the season, but in Portugal Mercedes seemed to be a bit better. Hamilton doesn’t believe Mercedes’ car significantly improved, instead he suggests the Red Bull lost a bit of its performance.
“This weekend, I feel like maybe Red Bull lost a little bit of performance. I don’t think we improved from the last race to here but I think they took a sidestep closer to us, for whatever reasons.
“But this is great. This is what we all live for, what we live and breathe for, to get up and fight and try and pull out the smallest bits of performance to be able to fight a great competitor.”
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Whatever the case may be, the seven-time champion is bracing for a hard season-long championship fight.
“I think none of us here are under any illusion of just how hard it is out there for us, how close the battle is.
“We’re all giving absolutely everything in our day-to-day lives in order to be best prepared and deliver at the weekends.
“The pressure is immense between us all and I think there’s a huge amount of respect between the three of us and obviously with the other drivers here.
“Of course, it’s always great when you have a race like today where you’re able to follow and overtake and capitalise on the small margins and gaps that have but at the same time, look at the restart.
“Max had been pulling absolutely everything out of the Red Bull and given us a great run for our money so I think it’s going to be like this for the rest of the season.
“Which I think can be incredibly exciting,” concluded Hamilton.