It was yet another sublime performance from the seven time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, who pulled off two incredible overtakes on the way to winning the Portuguese Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas disappointed on his way to third.
Hamilton was in fine form this afternoon, despite falling down to third after misjudging Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team teammate Bottas’ safety car restart. From this moment very early on in the race, it was head down and foot to the floor for Hamilton, who pulled off two perfect overtakes at Turn One. First it was on title rival Max Verstappen, and then on Bottas to take the race lead.
Hamilton remained in control of the race from this point on, as he extends his world championship lead to eight points.
“That was such a tough race, physically and mentally, just keeping everything together,” said Hamilton. “It was very windy out there, obviously, so it was easy to put a foot wrong. I didn’t quite get as good a start as Valtteri, then lost out on the restart which was not good. I was not happy about that, naturally. But that race was satisfying, when you’re in third and have to overtake two amazing drivers – amazing! Having races like that is what I live for.
“The gap between us all is so close and every single point is going to count this year. I love the battle, I’ve loved it since my days in karting and as a team, we can’t leave any stone unturned – we’ve got to continue to push this car, squeeze everything out of it.”
“We go again” – Bottas
For Valtteri Bottas it was a highly disappointing Grand Prix, despite making the perfect start from pole.
It was all set up perfectly for Bottas as the lights turned green at the Algarve International Circuit. The Finnish driver made the perfect start to the race holding the lead into Turn One, also controlling the safety car restart to perfection as Hamilton behind was overtaken by Verstappen.
Bottas didn’t hold the lead for too long after that though, as Hamilton carved his way from third to first. It went from bad to worse for Bottas, who was nearly undercut by Verstappen, who overtook the Mercedes driver only a handful of corners later after being on warmer tyres.
Bottas failed to gain second place back as an exhaust temperature sensor issue slowed the driver down. So it was third place for Bottas, who will be looking to bounce back immediately next weekend in Barcelona.
“Obviously not what I was aiming for today because when you start from pole, you want to bring home the win.” Said the Finn. “I think ultimately the main issue was the first stint – I was struggling for pace and I still don’t understand why.”
“The warm-up with the hard tyre was slow after the pit stop and Max managed to catch me. Then we had an exhaust temperature sensor issue later in the race which cost me speed on the straight so it was difficult to close in on Max and fight for P2.”
He continued: “eventually the power came back and I was able to set the fastest lap which could be an important point. We need to analyse this weekend over the next two days, learn the lessons and then focus on next weekend – we go again.”