Hamilton leads Verstappen to Portimão victory

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By Steven De Groote on

Having initially dropped down to 3rd place, Lewis Hamilton fought his method again as much as first to win the Portuguese Grand Prix. Verstappen and Bottas have been shut all through the race and accomplished the rostrum.

The beginning of the race was trouble-free, with all people getting off the road nicely, with out injury on any automotive. The clear begin noticed Bottas preserve his lead from pole place, forward of Hamilton and Verstappen.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz quickly handed Perez into fourth place, adopted by Norris who progressed into sixth after a battle the lasted for a number of corners into the primary lap.

The opposite Alpine of Fernando Alonso additionally moved backwards because the Spaniard exited very huge out of Flip 4 and noticed him lose place to Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

There was solely actual bother on the primary passing of the principle straight the place Raikkonen in some way managed to clip his entrance wing towards his staff mate’s left rear. The Finn subsequently could not cease his automotive in time for Flip 1 and retired after coming to a halt within the gravel entice. Giovinazzi did not have any injury, and got here away with out a puncture.

Subsequent up was a security automotive that lasted for 4 laps.

On the restart, Bottas did not wait so long as final yr to get on the throttle, maybe nonetheless interested by the carnage he brought on in 2020. This time, he stepped on it midway on the principle straight, at a second the place Hamilton was just a bit bit behind. It price Hamilton, as Verstappen was very attentive and handed Hamilton on the surface within the strategy to Flip 1.

The main three remained very shut collectively, ending up in Hamilton taking second place again from Verstappen on lap 11, properly choosing the within of Flip 1 with the assistance of DRS. Verstappen remained shut within the subsequent laps, nevertheless it was Hamilton who appeared to search for additional progress as he was continued to push race chief Bottas.

At first of lap 20, Hamilton did what Verstappen did to him on the restart: go unnoticed of Bottas’s slipstream and benefit from the higher line into the righthander that adopted. The transfer dropped Bottas proper into the trail of Verstappen, however the latter could not construct on the chance and stored third place behind the Mercedes duo.

The pitstops began spherical about lap 24, with Sainz and Tsunoda the primary to make their stops. Sainz switching from delicate to medium, Tsunoda from medium to exhausting.

A couple of laps earlier than that, Hamilton stated “tyres are just about shot”, however he would go on for a lot of extra laps to extend his benefit to Bottas and Verstappen. Behind them, Perez took again fourth, adopted by Ricciardo and Alonso who all nonetheless ran on their medium tyres from the beginning. Lance Stroll in seventh on the time nonetheless used 32-lap outdated delicate. On lap 32, these have been the one drivers who nonetheless hadn’t pitted.

On lap 34, Verstappen pitted, adopted by Bottas one lap later. Mercedes’ pitstop was once more slower than that of Pink Bull, and although Bottas nonetheless got here out forward and was first into Flip 1, Verstappen’s heated up tyres allowed him to get previous the Finn a couple of corners later.

Hamilton pitted one other lap later, coming again out 3.3s forward of Verstappen, and 11 behind Perez who was going for a very lengthy first stint. Perez would proceed to steer till getting handed by Hamilton on lap 50, after which the Mexican was known as in for a cease to modify to used delicate. The Pink Bull driver returned in 4th, 25s down on Bottas.

In the meantime, Alonso handed Gasly and Ricciardo to maneuver up into ninth place.

Moments later, Bottas reported a lack of energy on his Mercedes and was instantly 2s slower on his lap. The staff although found a temperature sensor subject on the exhaust and sorted the matter remotely.

Three laps from the top, Bottas was known as in to vary to softs, exiting 4s forward of Perez in 4th. Verstappen did the identical one lap later, additionally in an try and set the quickest race lap.

So, whereas Bottas and Verstappen have been in search of quickest lap, Hamilton simply drove to victory. Verstappen finally took quickest lap, solely to get it deleted for exceeding observe limits, identical to on his greatest effort in qualifying on Saturday. This meant Bottas takes quickest lap in any case, together with the extra championship level that comes with it. Verstappen was advised within the post-race interview, and famous “actually? I did not even know they have been monitoring there”.

Outcomes

Pos. No. Driver Automotive Laps Time Pts
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 66 1:34:31.421 25
2 33 Max Verstappen Pink Bull Racing Honda 66 +29.148s 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 66 +33.530s 16
4 11 Sergio Perez Pink Bull Racing Honda 66 +39.735s 12
5 4 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 66 +51.369s 10
6 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 66 +55.781s 8
7 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 66 +63.749s 6
8 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault 66 +64.808s 4
9 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes 66 +75.369s 2
10 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 66 +76.463s 1
11 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 66 +78.955s 0
12 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 65 +1 lap 0
13 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes 65 +1 lap 0
14 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 65 +1 lap 0
15 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 65 +1 lap 0
16 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 65 +1 lap 0
17 47 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari 64 +2 laps 0
18 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 64 +2 laps 0
19 9 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari 64 +2 laps 0
NC 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1 DNF 0


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