Hamilton wins Portuguese GP to extend lead atop the standings
Lewis Hamilton has won his 97th Formula 1 race, finishing first at the Portuguese Grand Prix ahead of the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
The Englishman started second behind Bottas and ahead of Verstappen, but the Red Bull overtook him at the restart after an early safety car. The top trio spent several laps bunched together, with a few DRS battles, before Hamilton eventually pulled a classy move on Verstappen to speed back into second. Hamilton appeared to have more pace than Bottas and did indeed overtake his teammate on lap 20 to lead the race.
Bottas then lost another position after his pit stop took a second longer than Verstappen’s and after the Finn had a wobble on his new tyres after coming out for his second stint, with the Dutchman capitalising.
Sergio Perez’s Red Bull led the race at one point, but that was because he went longer without pitting, even confusing Hamilton who expected blue flags before being told that he and the Mexican were technically competing for position.
At the end of the race, Bottas and Verstappen had a private battle to try to take the fastest lap, pitting one last time to go onto the quickest tyres possible. Verstappen appeared to have won it, before having his fastest lap cancelled as he went off track limits.
That means Hamilton takes 25 points, Verstappen 18 and Bottas 16.
“That was such a tough race physically and mentally,” Hamilton said afterwards.
“I didn’t get a good start and also lost out at the restart but it was a great result in the end.
“Today wasn’t all perfect and we need to get ready now for the quick turnaround for Spain”
Formula One: Lewis Hamilton wins Portuguese Grand Prix as Max Verstappen finishes second,
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished third and recorded the fastest lap
The reigning Formula One champion dropped to third in the opening laps but made two impressive moves in nine race-winning laps to claim his second victory of the season.
Verstappen finished second, while Bottas, who started from pole, came in a disappointing third place. Sergio Perez took the flag in fourth, with Lando Norris fifth for McLaren.
Hamilton missed out on top spot in qualifying to Bottas by just seven thousandths of a second, and the British driver faced an uphill task to win for a 97th time following his poor restart.
The safety car was deployed at the end of the first lap after Kimi Raikkonen ran into the back of Alfa Romeo team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi. Six laps later, when the debris was cleared, Hamilton was caught napping as Verstappen sailed round the outside of his Mercedes at the opening corner.
Up front, Bottas was unable to race into the distance and the top three spent the formative laps separated by little more than one second.
On lap 11, Hamilton landed his first strike by moving back past Verstappen. He drew alongside the Dutchman at 200mph before sliding up the inside of the Red BULLl at the first corner.
Verstappen eyed up Hamilton through turn four, but the world champion planted his Mercedes on the apex and Verstappen was forced to yield.
It wasn’t long before Hamilton was then crawling all over the back of Bottas. Indeed, one wondered whether the Mercedes pit wall would order the Finn to move aside with Verstappen in striking range.
But Hamilton took the decision out of their hands when he moved into the lead will a dazzling pass on lap 20 of 66.
Bottas defended the inside line heading into the first corner. Hamilton followed in the slipstream of his Mercedes team-mate before suddenly darting to the left in the braking zone and passing Bottas around the outside.
Such was Hamilton’s speed that he was suddenly two seconds clear of Bottas inside just four laps, and from there he never looked like losing.
Verstappen, stuck behind Bottas, was unable to make any impression on his title rival and he was the first of the leaders to stop for fresh rubber on lap 35.
Bottas came in a lap later and emerged with a comfortable advantage over the Red Bull car, but the Finn was slow in getting his tyres up to speed and Verstappen pounced within five corners to take second place.
It capped another disappointing afternoon for Bottas – already 37 points adrift of Hamilton after just three rounds – though he did seal a bonus point for recording the fastest lap of the race.
Perez, out of sync with the leaders by virtue of a longer opening stint, provided Hamilton with some danger. The Mexican led the race for a period, but Hamilton sailed past with 15 laps remaining.
Verstappen put on a fresh set of tyres in the closing stages and appeared to claim the fastest lap of the race, but his time was deleted for exceeding track limits. Hamilton will head to next week’s Spanish Grand Prix with an eight-point lead over Verstappen in his quest for an eighth world title.
Charles Leclerc finished sixth for Ferrari, one spot ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. Double world champion Fernando Alonso finished eighth following a late move on Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
“That was such a tough race, physically and mentally and just keeping it together,” said Hamilton. “It was windy, so it was easy to put a foot wrong.
“I lost out at the restart, which was not good. I was not happy and I had to position myself the best I could. I then had to make a move on Valtteri before the tyres were destroyed, and I just made it stick at turn one.”
Verstappen said: “At the end we just lacked a bit of pace and Lewis got by.
“Once we settled in second, you could see we were lacking in pace compared to them. We were not on top of it here, but we will see what we can do in Barcelona.”
The Dutchman trails Hamilton by eight points on the championship leaderboard.
Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton
7 January 1985
|Family||Nicolas Hamilton (brother)|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Car number||44[note 1]|
|Entries||269 (269 starts)|
|Championships||7 (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)|
|First entry||2007 Australian Grand Prix|
|First win||2007 Canadian Grand Prix|
|Last win||2021 Portuguese Grand Prix|
|Last entry||2021 Portuguese Grand Prix|
|2020 position||1st (347 pts)|
|British racing driver
Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton British racing driver. He currently competes in Formula One for Mercedes, having previously driven for McLaren from 2007 to 2012. In Formula One, Hamilton has won a joint-record seven World Drivers’ Championship titles (tied with Michael Schumacher), while he holds the outright records for the most wins (97), pole positions (99) and podium finishes (168), amongst others.(born 7 January 1985) is a
Born and raised in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Hamilton was signed to the McLaren young driver programme in 1998. This later resulted in a Formula One drive with McLaren in 2007, making Hamilton the first black driver to race in the sport. That season, Hamilton set numerous records as he finished runner-up to Kimi Räikkönen by one point. The following season, he won his maiden title in dramatic fashion—making a crucial overtake on the last corner of the last lap in the last race of the season—to become the then-youngest Formula One World Champion in history. After four more years with McLaren, Hamilton signed with Mercedes in 2013.
Changes to the regulations for 2014 mandating the use of turbo-hybrid engines came at the start of a highly successful period for Hamilton, during which he has won six further drivers’ titles. Hamilton won consecutive titles in 2014 and 2015 during an intense rivalry with teammate Nico Rosberg to match his hero Ayrton Senna‘s three World Championships. Following Rosberg’s retirement, Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel became Hamilton’s closest rival in two intense championship battles, and Hamilton twice overturned mid-season points deficits to claim consecutive titles again in 2017 and 2018. Hamilton won his third and fourth titles in a row in 2019 and 2020, respectively, equalling Schumacher’s record of seven drivers’ titles.
Hamilton has been credited with furthering Formula One’s global following by appealing to a broader audience outside the sport, in part due to his high-profile lifestyle, environmental and social activism and his exploits in music and fashion. He has become a prominent advocate in support of activism to combat racism and push for increased diversity in motorsport. Hamilton was listed in the 2020 issue of Time as one of the 100 most influential people globally and was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours.