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Sport Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas signals first warning signs to Red Bull

19:45  30 april  2021
19:45  30 april  2021 Source:   express.co.uk

10 things we learned from F1's 2021 Spanish GP

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Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have set the pace ahead of the Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix, but by the smallest of margins as Max Verstappen 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.

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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.

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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.

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"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."

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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.

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a pizza sitting on top of a green screen © EXPRESS

"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.

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