Lewis Hamilton branded lucky to get away with ‘bigger mistakes’ than Max Verstappen

F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?

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Lewis Hamilton currently leads Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship by eight points after winning the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday. It was another race weekend where Verstappen looked in good shape to take pole position and be in serious contention to win.

And the Red Bull driver managed to get in between the two Mercedes drivers in the middle of the race with the hope of closing Hamilton down.

The seven-time world champion proved too fast for Verstappen in the final few laps with Hamilton picking up his second win of the season.

There was further frustration for Verstappen though as his fastest lap time was wiped off the timesheet after exceeding track limits, missing out on what could be a crucial championship point.

While Hamilton holds the lead in the championship, the opening three races have proven that Verstappen and Red Bull are much closer this season.

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The young Dutch driver though has had a number of costly errors so far which have meant he’s missed out on occasions.

In Bahrain, Verstappen’s attempted pass on Hamilton in the final few laps was deemed illegal, forcing him to hand first place back and eventually the race win.

And in Portugal track limits once again proved Verstappen’s downfall in qualifying and his attempt at posting a fastest lap.

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Hamilton hasn’t been as guilty of as many errors as Verstappen, but arguably made a much bigger mistake at Imola when he crashed into the barrier, only to recover and finish second.

Palmer suggests Verstappen may feel somewhat hard done by in the way Hamilton was fortuitous in the circumstances surrounding his big mistake in Italy.

“We’re talking three errors for Verstappen this weekend – the qualifying one, tiny error, punished; the one behind Bottas, again small error that was punished,” he said on BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast.

“Is Hamilton more experienced, is he making fewer errors? The guy crashed it into the wall at Imola!

“He has made a far bigger, and should have been far costlier, mistake than all of the mistakes Verstappen made [in Portugal] put together, but circumstance got him back to second place – and a great recovery drive thereafter the red flag.

“But without Bottas and Russell crashing in the manner they did, there’s not a Safety Car, there’s not a red flag at the perfect time that Hamilton can basically restart the race from ninth place rather than being ninth plus a pit-stop and, by the way, a lap down.

“Hamilton is making very few errors overall, but he has also made a big one this year that should have cost him a lot more than six points in the end to Verstappen at Imola.

“It’s not just one of them making errors – one of them is making a lot of small ones, the other has made one big one over three races.”

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