Ross Brawn: “Lewis Hamilton was his usual imperial self”

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Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn talks about the Portuguese Grand Prix and says the challenge from Max Verstappen “is pushing Lewis to another level”.

Lewis Hamilton beat both Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas to win the Portuguese Grand Prix, in what was another amazing drive from the seven-time champion. In his column Ross Brawn praised Lewis’ incredible performance.

“Lewis Hamilton was his usual imperial self in Portugal, pulling off brilliant – and ultimately crucial – overtakes on both his team mate Valtteri Bottas and main title rival Max Verstappen to clinch victory,” Brawn wrote.

“He really had to work for the win today and it was a fine example of how the consistent challenge that is emerging from Red Bull and Max Verstappen is pushing Lewis to another level.

“Lewis may have faced major opposition from his team mate over the last few years, but he’s not had to contend with a threat from outside – and so far, he is responding like a seven-time world champion would.”

The Briton also gave his comments on Hamilton and Verstappen’s ongoing championship battle.

“If Lewis had had an issue or Mercedes made a mistake in Portugal, Max was in a position to react, so while it was frustrating for him today, he can see Red Bull are responding and he accepts that there will be an ebb and flow to this championship.

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“Barcelona will potentially be different in terms of conditions and the type of track. And Monaco will be quite the event between the two, as they are both likely to be strong there.

“We’ve had three races on three different tracks and on each, there has been a proper fight between Max and Lewis, which bodes very well for a fascinating title battle this year.”

Valtteri Bottas unfortunately had a troubled race, but he did manage to finish in P3 and get an additional point for fastest lap. While at one point the Finn was closing in on Max Verstappen in P3, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff came on the radio to provide motivation for his driver.

“There’s a fascinating dynamic within Mercedes right now, in terms of their wish to support Valtteri as much as they can,” Brawn continued.

“He had a reasonable race but will be disappointed not to have converted pole into victory.

“It is pretty unusual for a Team Principal to come on the radio and speak to a driver – but I think it shows their desire to do what they can to back him in what is a really challenging period for the Finn,” concluded F1’s managing director.

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