'Sitting duck': Max Verstappen rages over 'unbelievable' mistake

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Max Verstappen was frustrated with the Red Bull's inability to fight off the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at the Portuguese Grand Prix. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen was frustrated with the Red Bull's inability to fight off the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at the Portuguese Grand Prix. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen's frustration over Mercedes' F1 power advantage was on show during the Portuguese Grand Prix overnight, with Red Bull engineers copping an earful of the Dutchman's fury.

The 23-year-old finished second behind reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton in what was a tactical battle at the Algarve circuit in Portimao.

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He'd have been hoping to finish one spot higher though, having started third behind Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who started from pole.

After a safety car was called when Kimi Raikkonen collided with teammate Antonio Giovinazzi on the main straight, Verstappen managed to get the jump on Hamilton.

The Red Bull ace swooped around the outside of Hamilton at turn one, after the British champion was caught off guard at the restart.

But any chance of Verstappen pressing forward and seizing the lead from Bottas was dashed a few laps later, when Hamilton burned past him on the main straight.

A small error on the second to last corner had enabled Hamilton to inch close enough to the Red Bull star to make the move impossible to defend.

“I’m just a sitting duck on the straight. It’s unbelievable," an irritated Verstappen said over team radio.

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Verstappen pitted first in a race where tyre management was critical under very warm conditions, with the move eventually vaulting him past Bottas, who was pitted after his teammate.

Hamilton overtook Bottas with a brilliant sweeping move around the outside of turn one before their pitstops and never looked back, claiming his 97th grand prix victory.

“I think Max made a mistake at some point and that was perfect," Hamilton said after the race. 

"With Valtteri I had to make the move early on before the tyres were destroyed and I just managed to get him at turn one. Right on my limit. Great race."

Daniel Ricciardo's heartache after F1 disaster

Daniel Ricciardo was left to rue a disastrous race despite salvaging some points for McLaren.

It was a good day for Ricciardo considering he started the race in 16th, making up seven places to finish ninth.

But the Aussie driver was left gutted by his qualifying debacle on Saturday in which he failed to advance past the third session.

Daniel Ricciardo qualified a lowly 16th for the Portuguese Grand Prix. (Photo by Mazen MAHDI / AFP) (Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)
Daniel Ricciardo qualified a lowly 16th for the Portuguese Grand Prix. (Photo by Mazen MAHDI / AFP) (Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)

“It was a better race - well, better than yesterday," he said after the race.

"It was hard to do worse than yesterday so everything I planned to happen in the race or execute, I was more or less able to do.

“I certainly still woke up frustrated this morning, you’ve got to clear it from your mind. Obviously what’s done is done.

“It’s hard to shake. Obviously you just believe in yourself and when you know what you’re capable of and you don’t execute, it breaks you.

“We get 20-something chances a year, it’s actually not that much, so when you don’t get it right, even waiting seven days (for the next race), it’s a long time to live with it.”

But Ricciardo was still able to take some positives from the trying weekend.

“As a driver, you know inside you when you’re driving with confidence and if it’s kind of flowing,” Ricciardo said.

“And Friday (practice) did feel like that. Definitely more so than previous.

“I think today there were moments of speed and moments of not quite there but I think I took a lot from this week’s race.”

With AAP

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