Russell still off the pace as 'phenomenal' Hamilton claims win in Portugal

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff were able to celebrate yet another win, the latest one in Portugal. - Credit: PA

George Russell's battle with his Williams continue after a Portuguese Grand Prix dominated by a "phenomenal" Lewis Hamilton.

The Wisbech F1 star coaxed his car round the Algarve circuit and into a finishing position of 16th, meaning his wait for a first world championship point of 2021 goes on.

Way ahead though, almost two laps in fact, Hamilton roared back from a poor start to claim a 97th career win and have even a former rival drooling over his success.

Speaking to Sky Sports Nico Rosberg said: "What a phenomenal race by Lewis. Max [Verstappen] is starting to get a better understanding of just how good Lewis is.

"He has to do everything to beat him in the championship and at the moment it is 2-1 Lewis."

Hamilton was third by lap seven, caught napping after an early safety car deployment, but he was back ahead of his Dutch rival four laps later, holding his nerve as Verstappen aggressively, but fairly, squeezed him up towards the pit wall at 200mph.

He then overtook team-mate Valterri Bottas and took the chequered flag by almost 30 seconds from the Red Bull, with Bottas in third.

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"None of us here are under any illusions as to just how hard it is, how close the battle is, and how we are all giving absolutely everything in our day-to-day lives to be the best prepared and to deliver," said Stevenage's seven-time world champion.

"The pressure is immense. Of course, it is great when you have a race like today where you are able to overtake and capitalise on the small margins, but at the same time, Max gave us a great run for our money.

"We will continue to keep it clean and on the edge. It is down to the respect we have for one another and that is what makes great racing and great racing drivers.

"It is going to be like this for the rest of the season. It is a great fight between Mercedes and Red Bull and it is clear we will be pushing right until the last race.

"We will be sick of each other by the end of it."

Sergio Perez finished fourth for Red Bull ahead of Lando Norris, who delivered another fine drive to take fifth in his McLaren.

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