Sport Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas signals first warning signs to Red Bull
10 things we learned from F1's 2021 Spanish GP
Amid echoes of the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix, Mercedes snookered Red Bull on strategy to deliver Lewis Hamilton victory in the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix. Autosport assesses the weekend's major talking points, as a 2020 heavy-hitter endured another weekend to forget and a much-hyped rookie had a lesson in humility © Steven Tee / Motorsport Images The Mercedes trophy delegate, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 3rd position, on the podium The Spanish Grand Prix has hardly cemented itself as a must-watch in Formula 1 through recent history, yet Sunday’s
Mercedes duoand Valtteri Bottas have set the pace ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix, but by the smallest of margins as suffered brake issues in FP2.
Bottas set the benchmark time with 20 minutes remaining in the first session on the soft compound of tyres with Verstappen finishing just 0.025s off the Finn's fastest time on the same tyre.
Hamilton finished fifth, three-tenths down before topping the timing screens in FP2.
Hamilton and Verstappen were separated by just 0.143s, in a relatively clean Friday session for all of the drivers in Portugal, with no clear advantage for either team heading into qualifying on Saturday.
Portuguese Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton leads as Verstappen passes Bottas for second
Portuguese Grand Prix LIVE: Lewis Hamilton sweeps past Valtteri Bottas to take the lead of the race.Portuguese Grand Prix LIVE:
Verstappen suffered a brief set-back in second practice after reporting on the Red Bull radio that his brake-by-wire had failed, and had to head back to the pits.
However team principal Christian Horner was quick to report that "It was just a sensor issue that has been rectified," and he was back out of the pits within 10 minutes in a relatively quiet session.
With just a point separating Hamilton and Verstappen in the driver's standings coming into the weekend, the pair were quick to play down their chances in Portugal, with a win each over the opening two races of the F1 season.
When asked who holds the advantage coming into the weekend, Hamilton responded: "That's a weird question. I don't know.
F1 Spanish GP: Bottas tops disrupted FP1 from Verstappen and Hamilton
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas led Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by 0.033s in a disrupted first practice session for Formula 1’s 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton third. © Steven Tee / Motorsport Images Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12 Under clear skies and in warm temperatures, Robert Kubica, running place of Kimi Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo for FP1, set the initial P1 benchmark at 1m27.006s on the hard tyres. But Kubica was almost immediately demoted by Bottas’s 1m21.899s, also set on the white-walled rubber.
"Aren't we equal on points or something? The Red Bulls are still ahead of us on performance, but I think we've done quite a good job generally over the first two races, and I think that we have a long way ahead of us still."
And Verstappen was equally non-committal in his response, with a mammoth 22-races to go heading into round three in Portugal.
"It's still a very long season so I don't think about it too much," Verstappen responded when asked how he feels about a true title battle for the first time in his F1 career.
"I just want to do the best job possible every single weekend and try to make the least amount of mistakes possible."
"It's nothing to do if you win a race or not," the Dutchman added. "I just hope we are very competitive as the last two races.
Lewis Hamilton pays classy Mercedes tribute as Brit overcomes issues for record 100th pole
Lewis Hamilton dedicated his record-breaking 100th career pole position to his Mercedes team, insisting it is "down to the men and women" back in the factory that he can continue to break the mould in Formula One.The Briton's 1:16.741 lap saw him take first place for Sunday's race ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen with team-mate Valtteri Bottas starting in third.
"Every single weekend you just have to make sure you're top of the car to try to try and get the best out of it, because it's so close between us and Mercedes you really need to go the best out of it to make a difference. And that is what we will try to do again this weekend."
"Well dreaming doesn't bring you anywhere and I am pretty realistic all of the time," he explained. "I just want to focus on the race ahead.
"I am not stupid. I know that you can't make mistakes in a championship that so far is so close."
Round three gets underway on Sunday for the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimao, with Hamilton looking to extend his lead at the top of the standings.
Valtteri Bottas 'done and dusted' with George Russell crash but pair 'haven't talked' .
Valtteri Bottas: it's "done and dusted" with the George Russell crash.Tempers were flaring after the pair tangled last time out in Imola on lap 32, as the Mercedes driver attempted to defend his position into the Tamburello corner at 200mph.