Lewis Hamilton 'cares little' about Bottas, knows Verstappen is main rival, says former driver

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Former Formula 1 driver Vitantonio Liuzzi has told Italian publication Autosprint that Lewis Hamilton will not be bothered about Valtteri Bottas achieving pole positions, whilst also suggesting Red Bull underperformed in Portugal.

The 2021 season is now in full swing with three rounds under our belts and a fourth quickly on the horizon with the Spanish Grand Prix following the Portuguese Grand Prix immediately.

Round three at Portimao, of course, saw Bottas earn pole position as he responded well from his crash in Imola.

However, the race did not go to plan for the Finn with both Hamilton and Max Verstappen overtaking him on track, meaning they extended their gap at the top of the Drivers' standings.

Indeed, for former Toro Rosso and Force India driver Liuzzi, Sunday rather highlighted why Hamilton will not be bothered about Bottas in this year's title fight, with Verstappen proving the main contender:

"I saw a supreme Hamilton again in Portugal, despite a difficult start. He showed once again that he can get the most out of himself and the car. Verstappen gave 110 per cent until the last lap, it was a shame he just couldn't take the fastest race lap on the last lap,'' he said to Autosprint.

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"Hamilton knows very well that Verstappen is his title rival, and not Bottas. Therefore, he cares little that Valtteri was faster in qualifying. He goes one-on-one with Verstappen and plays that off strategically."

Liuzzi also suggested that Red Bull perhaps underperformed in the third round the season and claimed that it was the first time Mercedes seemed to have more than enough to cover their rivals for the Constructors' crown this year.

''I expected more from them. It looked like they had the fastest car in the first two Grands Prix, but in Portimao we saw what Mercedes has in reserve."

Certainly, the Mercedes at the hands of Lewis Hamilton seemed pretty much untouchable once it was out in front and Red Bull will be looking to respond in Spain this weekend, whilst Bottas will also want to try and upset the current top two.

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