F1 News

Verstappen has advantage: 'Pressure is on Hamilton, he has to win both'

Verstappen has advantage: 'Pressure is on Hamilton, he has to win both'

23-11-2021 17:02 Last update: 18:33


Jolyon Palmer says Max Verstappen's grid penalty in Qatar helped him maximise his race. The penalty for Valtteri Bottas also worked to the advantage of the Dutchman, who raced to second place with ease.

"It helped Verstappen maximize the weekend in a weird way. If Verstappen starts second and Bottas starts third, then maybe Verstappen takes the lead. I can’t see how he’s going to win the race with the pace that Hamilton has at the moment. He had similar pace to Brazil, he can have the execution I think to probably pass Verstappen," Palmer begins in the podcast of the BBC.

Bottas' penalty ended up helping Verstappen a lot. "The penalty was more costly for Bottas than it was for Verstappen. Bottas was out of the top ten, Verstappen was second within four laps. Then there was a huge gap that meant he could pit for the fastest lap. That’s a rarity, normal it’s a Perez or a Bottas that can pit for the fastest lap. I don’t think he had the pace either way to beat Lewis, but it allowed him to get Bottas out of the way."

Next race in Saudi Arabia

Verstappen leads the championship with just two races to go. The gap is small, but according to Palmer, the lead is crucial. The pressure is now mainly on Hamilton, who will have to win both races to beat the Dutchman. If Verstappen wins just one, he is already in a good position.

"Hamilton has to win both of them, so the pressure is still on Lewis. Saudi Arabia is a fast track, it will favour Mercedes quite possibly, but it’s a street circuit. Someone can put it in the wall quite easily, if a tyre fails on a street circuit it can be catastrophic. Max knows that too well from Baku. These are all things that can come into play on a track that no one knows."

Video player

More videos