Formula 1

Hamilton wins Portuguese Grand Prix and extends World Championship lead

3 Mins read
Credit: Daimler AG / Wolfgang Wilhelm

From pole position, Valtteri Bottas got a bright start and led from Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, with Scuderia Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. jumping past Sergio Pérez for fourth. Behind them, McLaren F1 Team‘s Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon of the Alpine F1 Team, fought out a huge battle for sixth, swapping positions repeatedly around the first lap, with Norris ending up finally making his moves stick and taking the position.

Kimi Räikkönen lost his front wing and had to park his car on an escape road at the end of the first lap after a rookie mistake from the veteran, miscalculating his overtaking speed and driving straight into the rear-left wheel of his Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, covering the home straight in debris. This required a safety car intervention which took the drivers through the pit lane, in order to clear up the debris. This continued the three round streak of the safety car coming out on the first lap of the race.

At the restart, Bottas backed the pack up on the home straight and caught his teammate off guard with his timing, which allowed Verstappen to get a run on Hamilton and grab second place at Turn One. Sainz fell back to sixth, as Norris passed Pérez at Turn 5 – leaping up to fourth.

The top three then pulled well clear of the rest of the pack, with Verstappen closing in on leader Bottas as DRS was activated on lap ten. But a sudden mistake due to wind gusts from Verstappen on Turn 14 allowed Hamilton to get a run on him into Turn 1 on the following lap, and Hamilton re-passed him, proceeding to shove the Dutchman wide at Turn 3 as Verstappen tried to respond, much like Verstappen did at the start last round. Verstappen fell away by two seconds before regrouping and catching up again.

Pérez repassed Norris for fourth on lap 15, as Hamilton hounded Bottas for the lead. After stalking him for five straight laps, Hamilton got a DRS-assisted run on his teammate and made a bold around-the-outside pass on Bottas at Turn 1 on lap 20 to take the lead. Hamilton then extended a 3.5-second lead by the halfway point of the race.

Sainz was the first of the top six to pit, like Norris having started on the soft tyre, and switched to mediums. Norris pitted a lap later, and after a relatively slow stop, he immediately came under attack from his former teammate – but managed to fend him off. Ferrari then pitted Charles Leclerc from fifth, switching him to the hard tyre.

Verstappen pitted for hard tyres on lap 36 in an effort to undercut Bottas, who pitted a lap later and in order to cover off from him. Bottas slid wide exiting Turn Three and Verstappen passed him at Turn Five. Hamilton also pitted, and maintained a 3s lead over Verstappen, with Bottas falling a further three seconds behind Verstappen.

Perez stayed out and ran a much longer stint on his mediums, holding the lead despite reporting vibrations in his tyres – and almost ending up clashing with a wayward Nikita Mazepin of the Uralkali Haas F1 Team, who despite five separate blue flag calls, refused to let the leader lap him. Mazepin eventually let the Mexican through after his sixth blue flag, and later was given a five second penalty for his unsportsmanlike conduct.

Hamilton passed Pérez on track to retake the lead, just before Checo made his stop for soft tyres on lap 52, rejoining in fourth in search of the fastest lap. Hamilton cruised to the win from there, well clear of Verstappen, Bottas – who was hampered by an exhaust sensor issue late on – and the distant Pérez behind them.

Bottas made a late pitstop for fresh tyres, and grabbed fastest lap away from Perez, but Verstappen also pitted and opted for softs, and took it back on the final lap – until it was taken away for exceeding track limits at Turn 14, to the extra point went to Bottas.

Norris finished fifth, ahead of Leclerc. The Ferraris switched positions on lap 39, and Sainz lost a further place to Ocon with 21 laps remaining. Fernando Alonso also enjoyed a good race, passing McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Sainz to snatch eighth place in the closing stages. Ricciardo finished in ninth place, ahead of the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda of Pierre Gasly, both of whom passed Sainz, with the Spaniard limping home in eleventh after an extremely long run on his medium tyres.

Pos#DriverNat.TeamLapsTime/GapPoints
144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team661:34:31.42125
233Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing Honda66+29.14818
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team66+33.53016
411Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing Honda66+39.73512
54Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team66+51.36910
616Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow66+55.7818
731Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team66+63.7496
814Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team66+64.8084
93Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team66+75.3692
1010Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda66+76.4631
1155Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow66+78.9550
1299Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN65+1 lap0
135Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team65+1 lap0
1418Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team65+1 lap0
1522Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda65+1 lap0
1663George RussellGBRWilliams F1 Team65+1 lap0
1747Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team64+2 laps0
186Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams F1 Team64+2 laps0
199Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team64+2 laps0
207Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1DNF0
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