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Verstappen Steals the Show in F1, Hamilton Pouts Away

Another Formula 1 race is in the bag for 2021. The Austrian Grand Prix was the 9th one so far, and by now, drivers have competed in countries like Bahrain, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Monaco, Azerbaijan, France, and Austria. Max Verstappen is proving to be a strong contender this season, but there are still 14 more races to go.
Verstappen Steals the Show in F1, Hamilton Pouts Away 8 photos
Verstappen Steals the Show in F1, Hamilton Pouts AwayVerstappen Steals the Show in F1, Hamilton Pouts AwayVerstappen Steals the Show in F1, Hamilton Pouts AwayVerstappen Steals the Show in F1, Hamilton Pouts AwayVerstappen Steals the Show in F1, Hamilton Pouts AwayVerstappen Steals the Show in F1, Hamilton Pouts AwayVerstappen Steals the Show in F1, Hamilton Pouts Away
For the third Formula 1 race in a row, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen claimed 1st place in the qualifying session. While Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas always seem to be close behind him, the gap is still there, and that can only lead to frustration along the way. As we've seen in recent statements by Mercedes-AMG Petronas representatives, team members are doing everything in their power to get back into first place, but Red Bull just seems to have the extra edge.

And for the Austrian GP, it didn't look like the situation would change, as Max Verstappen dominated the practice and qualifying sessions, with his eye set on victory once more. He has already won four out of the first eight races, and he's only missed the podium once. In the meantime, Lewis Hamilton has scored three victories so far, but he's missed out on the podium twice, which puts in at a disadvantage.

Going into the race on Sunday, Hamilton and Bottas started from P4 and P5, with Lando Norris in P2 and Sergio Perez in P3. Of course, Lewis wasn't going to settle for anything less than a win, and by lap 4, he was already in P3 with his teammate right behind him. They both pursued Lando Norris, waiting for an opening. And that moment came 15 laps into the race. But it would be a short-lasting moment of hope for Hamilton.

He suffered some damage on his car at Turn 10 and had to continue driving for 30 laps with significantly less downforce. Given the situation, he could no longer defend P2, not to talk about the idea of pursuing Verstappen, and was overtaken by both Bottas and Norris on lap 53. It's not easy having to match up to someone with Hamilton's impressive record, but Valtteri once again showed the world why he is the number two driver on the team by claiming P2 at the end of the race.

He was quite optimistic about the result and the team's perspectives noting that, "For me, it’s nice to be on the podium again in second place and I think we maximized what we could get today". By not making it to the podium, Hamilton is now faced with an even bigger gap to recover if he wants to secure another title this year. By looking at the average speed achieved by each driver during the race, you'll notice that most drivers were below 141.67 mph (228 kph).

Gasly was clocked in at 141.74 mph (228.11 kph), Hamilton managed 141.78 mph (228.177 kph), Sainz was the second-fastest at 142.54 mph (229.402 kph), but the moment you see how fast Verstappen was, you start to understand why Hamilton seems to be somewhat frustrated with the situation. Verstappen was clocked in at 145.90 mph (234.815 kph), which makes for a huge difference at this level.

And for the past few races, that's what Lewis Hamilton keeps talking about, and I understand how he must be feeling right now, with all the pressure on his shoulders. "Max is clear out front at the moment so we need to improve our car and start performing better each weekend. The team are working incredibly hard and we need to continue that so we can find performance."

As of now, Max Verstappen has gathered a total of 182 points in the championship, while Lewis Hamilton is in 2nd place with 150 points. Sergio Perez is further back in 3rd with 104 points, and Valtteri Bottas is not that far behind at 92 points. In the Constructors' Championship, the gap between the leaders, Red Bull, and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team is now up to 44 points, so it will be exciting to see how the situation unfolds at Silverstone in two weeks from now.


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