from the braking of Max Verstappen to the helplessness of Valtteri Bottas to Lewis Hamilton

The 2021 Formula 1 World Championship is close to the point of no return. Four races from the end Max Verstappen is 19 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton, which means that another victory, or victories if we count the sprint classification, in Brazil could be almost final. In Mexico the favorite was Verstappen, but he had to sweat.

The key to the race was the start. A few first meters of the race that decided the entire Grand Prix. While Verstappen made up for what had been a poor qualifying for a placid race, Valtteri Bottas did Lewis Hamilton a disservice and his team, leaving a huge door open.

Bottas left the outside lane to Verstappen instead of circling him with Mercedes

Verstappen Mexico F1 2021 2

In Mexico the exit was to be a game of sneaking. The long straight from the stoplight to the first corner left the pole driver, Bottas, with practically no chance of leading the first lap, but at least Mercedes wanted to get their star driver, Hamilton, who started second, to be the one. become a leader.

However, there was a problem for Mercedes: while Bottas did not have a good start, behind Hamilton and Verstappen did they made a practically perfect start. The problem was that Hamilton was paired with Bottas and it was Verstappen who was catching the slipstream: the Finn could no longer swerve to his right to give the slipstream to his teammate, because Hamilton was in parallel.

Verstappen Mexico F1 2021

In short, the plan did not go as expected at Mercedes and Bottas had to improvise. That’s where the differences between drivers are usually noticeable. Bottas chose to go right, moving closer to Hamilton, and leaving the area outside Verstappen free. Perhaps he believed, thinking to himself, that no one could pass that way, but he was very innocent.

No, at no point can Bottas be said to corner Hamilton, but he lets a free space so that Verstappen could risk with less risk. If Bottas had stuck to the left and left the center lane for the Dutchman, he would hardly have been able to brake so aggressively knowing he had a Mercedes on either side.

Verstappen Mexico F1 2021 3

Yes indeed, Verstappen’s braking was enormous, the kind that are available to very few pilots, flawless. He took advantage of the extra margin given by the asphalt loopholes to put a wheel in there and practically put a stop to the race in the first corner: it was clear that afterwards no one was going to be able to beat his pace.

After Bottas was taken by Daniel Ricciardo, in a maneuver that, unbelievably, was not even investigated by the commissioners. To add insult to injury, the Mercedes spent the entire race stuck behind the McLaren that had hit it, so Bottas ran out of points. At least he could take the fastest lap away from Verstappen.

Wolff and Hamilton charge Bottas in public

The first to openly criticize Bottas have been the members of the Mercedes team themselves, starting with the team boss, Toto Wolff. “He should have closed the door on Verstappen, but it felt like he was opening it for him. I’m upset, to say the least“said Wolff.

Hamilton has also not hesitated to crush his teammate in public: “I saw a Red Bull through the rear-view mirrors and I wanted to keep him behind. I thought Valtteri was going to do the same but has left the door open for Max. Max was on the race line, I couldn’t do anything braking on the inside, “he says.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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