sport news F1: Seven things we learned from the Portuguese Grand Prix

The Portuguese Grand Prix produced a similar looking story with Lewis Hamilton heading an easy race win in front of title rival Max Verstappen and team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Yet it wasn't all easy for the seven-time world champion who had to battle back from a poor start where he dropped to third before making his way up into first and then strolling on to victory.

While it was business as usual for Hamilton following his Imola defeat by Verstappen last time out, there was plenty happening behind the seven-time world champion in the pack as Sportsmail looks at the seven things we learned from the Portuguese Grand Prix. 

Lewis Hamilton (centre) celebrates his Portuguese Grand Prix victory with Valtteri Bottas (R)

Lewis Hamilton (centre) celebrates his Portuguese Grand Prix victory with Valtteri Bottas (R)

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Hamilton had to pass Bottas as well as title rival Max Verstappen (top) to win at Portimao

Hamilton had to pass Bottas as well as title rival Max Verstappen (top) to win at Portimao

Hamilton reasserts Mercedes dominance

This was a classic Lewis Hamilton performance and is an example of why he is the best in the business and that it is not 'all about the car'.

Although it certainly does help to have an all-conquering machine like a Mercedes, it's only as useful as the guy behind the wheel and his recovery drive to secure a comfortable victory was that of a driver looking to win a record eighth world championship. 

From qualifying second on the grid, Hamilton endured a poor start to the race, admitting calling himself 'an idiot' following an early safety car where he briefly dropped behind third-placed Max Verstappen.

Hamilton celebrates after strolling towards his second race win of the 2021 season

Hamilton celebrates after strolling towards his second race win of the 2021 season

'We got the Safety Car and I did everything to keep the temperatures right in the tyres but the restart, I literally took my eyes off Valtteri for one second to see where Max was and Valtteri had gone,' he told Sky Sports.

'So that was a mistake. Then following that, one other mistake was that I was in the tow of Valtteri and I just should have just stayed there. But instead I moved over and gave Max the tow and he came flying past me.' 

Hamilton though battled back well from adversity, easily and calmly passing his chief title rival and his team-mate to waltz into the lead and from then on enjoying a comfortable afternoon on his way to a second win of the season.

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Mistakes have curiously crept into Hamilton's scrappy start to 2021, but his talent is mopping those up and ensuring he remains top of the F1 tree. 

Hamilton's dominant victory has thrown the momentum behind Mercedes again

Hamilton's dominant victory has thrown the momentum behind Mercedes again

Bottas blew title credentials

Every action has a reaction and while Hamilton is showing that 36-year-olds can still rule the roost in competitive sports, his team-mate Bottas suffered as a result of it.

Much of the early season talk has been about how this year's title fight will be between Hamilton and Verstappen, and the Portuguese Grand Prix was the Finn's chance to shoehorn his name into the mix - especially after grabbing pole position.

But Bottas could not keep up on race day, with Hamilton breezing past to take the lead, while he even fell behind Verstappen late on to finish a highly dispiriting third. 

Team chief Totto Wolf admitted the Sunday decline down the order was exaggerated after a sensor issue cost Bottas around five seconds in his fight with Verstappen.

Pole man Valtteri Bottas led away at the start but gradually fell to third during the race

Pole man Valtteri Bottas led away at the start but gradually fell to third during the race

'That was unfortunate, because he really caught up well to Max, and then it kind of stabilised at 1.5, 1.6 seconds, but he had more to come at the end of the race,' Wolff said.

'We made a switch change, in order to basically override a sensor that was saying we are running too hot on exhaust temperatures, and we couldn't override it. So the engine went in protection mode and cost him five seconds.'

While Bottas can take a little heart from this, it still appears to be an issue that had Hamilton stumbled upon it would not resulted with him dropping from pole to third by the end of a race.

Bottas will have more chances in 2021 to try and prove his title credentials but in his first big audition he has fallen flat. 

Bottas blew a good opportunity to assert himself into the drivers' title mix on Sunday

Bottas blew a good opportunity to assert himself into the drivers' title mix on Sunday

Mick Schumacher is starting to settle

Being thrown in the deep end of Formula One usually means landing a debut drive in your rookie season at an established team, but it can prove just as difficult out of the spotlight.

It looks like being a tough year for Schumacher, son of seven-time champion Michael, who with the struggling Haas outfit has a car that seems very difficult to drive and likely to be propping up the field for the majority of the season.

His first couple of races saw him make a few errors in terms of spins, but he is now starting to settle on the grid after an impressive drive that enabled him to see off team-mate Nikita Mazepin with ease, and the bonus of passing Williams' Nicholas Latifi for 17th place late on.

Mick Schumacher enjoyed a promising weekend behind the wheel of the Haas at Portimao

Mick Schumacher enjoyed a promising weekend behind the wheel of the Haas at Portimao

Schumacher even admitted targeting George Russell in the sister Williams and post race his strong display gave him confidence to target bigger results for the rest of the season. 

'We had a lot more pace. It was unfortunate we didn't get by earlier because I think otherwise we had a decent race in terms of lap time in front of us,' he said.

'Maybe we could have even caught up to George [Russell]. But I feel like we were a big, big step forwards from where we were at Imola and I think if we keep on making those steps we will be in a very good place at the end of the year.'  

Schumacher believes the team now have the pace to challenge Williams during a race

Schumacher believes the team now have the pace to challenge Williams during a race

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