F1 2020 Portuguese GP: Hamilton Makes History in Portimao

Lewis Hamilton has broken Michael Schumacher’s all-time F1 win record by claiming his 92nd victory, as Formula 1 returns to Portugal after 24 years. The new track and gloomy weather caught some drivers off guard, making the first few laps the most exiting part of the race.

As was expected, the first corners were full of action. Rather surprisingly though, it was thanks to a slippery track. Verstappen was able to overtake Bottas for 2nd place into Turn 1, but Bottas claimed his position back in the following corners. Perez tried to overtake Verstappen, but the two collided and Perez dropped to the back of the pack.

Drivers on the mediums seemed to struggle more on the first laps than soft, with Kimi Räikkönen blasting through the field to 6th, a gain of 10 places on the first lap. Even more impressively, Carlos Sainz success fully took the lead as Hamilton and Bottas both lacked grip in Sector 2.

After chaotic first laps, the Mercedes duo overtook Sainz, and by Lap 14 Bottas lead Hamilton by 2.3 seconds. Kimi Räikkönen opened the pit game by stopping on lap 11, opting for medium tyres. Hamilton complained about his left front tyres on lap 14, after which he did the fastest laps of the race so far on Laps 16 and 17.

Lance Stroll challenged Norris to turn 1, and the two crashed as Stroll tried to go around the outside. Both drivers suffered damage and had to pit. Hamilton managed to catch Bottas by lap 20, and with DRS the overtake was not much of a challenge. After this Hamilton quickly built a lead of 3 seconds in the subsequent laps.

Perez had recovered well from his collision with Verstappen on lap one, returning to top 10 on lap 24 by passing Giovinazzi with DRS. Verstappen pitted for mediums on the same lap, dropping to 6th place in front of Esteban Ocon. Bottas reported his tires were graining by Lap 23, as Hamilton praised the condition of his tyres.

By Lap 29, Hamilton had increased his lead to 8.5 seconds by lap 33, laying the foundation for his record-breaking win. Stroll received a five seconds penalty for his crash with Norris, and he received a second penalty for breaking the track limits repeatedly. Charles Leclerc had been quietly driven to a secured 4th place, as he came to the pits on Lap 34.

By Lap 39, only Esteban Ocon and the two Mercedes were out on their starting tyre sets, and on Lap 40 Hamilton was called in. He remarked his tires were still good but trusted his team by stopping hard tires.

Bottas was informed about Hamiltons tire, and he expressed the idea of going for softs, as he was already over 10 seconds behind. On lap 41 however, he received hard tires. Norris was forced to give up his fight for points, as a slow puncture forced him to pit on lap 46.

Stroll became the only retirement of the race, as he drove his Racing Point to the garage on lap 53. Ocon finally made his first pitstop on lap 53, going from mediums o softs and coming out 8th, just in front of his teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Hamilton reported he was suffering a cramp on lap 59, which spurred him to do a fastest lap of the race, increasing his lead to 18 seconds over Bottas. The fight for fifth place culminated in Perez’s aggressive defending against Gasly to turn 1 on three laps before the end, and on the next lap Gasly was able to overtake the Mexican. Perez’s impressive comeback was dimmed a bit as Carlos Sainz overtook him on the last lap with the help of the DRS.

After very exiting first laps, the podium  turned out to be the same old same old: Lewis Hamilton won the Portuguese GP with a monumental 25 second lead over Valtteri Bottas, with Max Verstappen following the second Mercedes to third place.

Final Classification

144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:29:56.828
277Valtteri BottasMercedes+25.592s
333Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing+34.508s
416Charles LeclercFerrari+65.312s
510Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+1 lap
655Carlos SainzMcLaren+1 lap
711Sergio PerezRacing Point+1 lap
831Esteban OconRenault+1 lap
93Daniel RicciardoRenault+1 lap
105Sebastian VettelFerrari+1 lap
117Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo+1 lap
1223Alexander AlbonRed Bull Racing+1 lap
134Lando NorrisMcLaren+1 lap
1463George RussellWilliams+1 lap
1599Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo+1 lap
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas+1 lap
178Romain GrosjeanHaas+1 lap
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams+2 laps
1926Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri+2 laps
2018Lance StrollRacing PointDNF

Grid Talk Podcast

Want more reaction to the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend? Host Ruby Price with panelists Philip Mathew, Sam Thatcher and Alex Booth stared in Grid Talk’s Portuguese Grand Review.

Audio and video versions of the show is linked below:

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