Hamilton passes Verstappen and Bottas to win Portuguese GP - The Race
Formula 1

Hamilton passes Verstappen and Bottas to win Portuguese GP

May 2 2021
By Glenn Freeman

Lewis Hamilton led home Max Verstappen to win the Portuguese Grand Prix, extending his championship lead over the Red Bull driver.

Hamilton battled back from third place to pass Verstappen and early race leader Valtteri Bottas to win the race, having lost second place to Verstappen when he was caught out on a restart after an early safety car.

After capitalising on a small error from Verstappen which gave Hamilton a run into Turn 1 with DRS on lap 11 – and then successfully fighting off a round-the-outside Turn 3 attack from the Dutchman – it took Hamilton another nine laps to catch and pass Bottas at the same place.

From there he edged away to take a relatively comfortable win, with his margin exaggerated when Bottas and Verstappen both took late pitstops in an attempt to claim fastest lap.

Verstappen got ahead of Bottas just after the proper pitstops. Red Bull pitted Verstappen first, and while Bottas rejoined ahead of him, the Mercedes couldn’t bring its tyres up to temperature quickly enough. Bottas got out of shape at Turn 3, allowing Verstappen to pounce with DRS on the run to Turn 5.

Bottas tried to fight back later in the race, almost getting in DRS range of Verstappen, but the Finn fell to five seconds adrift when an exhaust sensor briefly robbed him of engine power.

Verstappen appeared to win their late-race battle for fastest lap, by 0.016s, but his time was taken away for a track limits violation, meaning Bottas claimed the point for Mercedes instead.

The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez claimed a lonely fourth place, having run very long on his first stint, enabling him to take soft tyres at his only stop. Until Verstappen and Bottas pitted again to claim fastest lap, Perez briefly had that bonus point thanks to his strategy.

McLaren Ferrari Lando Norris Charles Leclerc F1 Portuguese GP

Lando Norris won the battle for best of the rest with fifth place, just about keeping Charles Leclerc at bay throughout the second half of the race.

Leclerc claimed sixth, having been let through earlier in the race by Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr when it became clear that Sainz’s use of medium tyres didn’t work out in comparison to the majority of drivers who took hards at their pitstops.

Sainz’s race was miserable from then on, dropping him out of the points as he fell to 11th.

Esteban Ocon claimed seventh for Alpine, while a charging final stint from his team-mate Fernando Alonso was good enough to take eighth behind him.

After his disappointing Q1 elimination in qualifying Daniel Ricciardo raced his way into the points, making up several places at the start and then running a long first stint in a race where slow tyre warm-up and low degradation meant drivers could attempt to stay out rather than immediately responding when any cars they were battling came into the pits.

Pierre Gasly scored the final point for AlphaTauri, taking advantage of Sainz’s slump late-on to claim 10th place.

Race Results

Pos Name Car Laps Laps Led Total Time Fastest Lap Pitstops Pts
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 66 34 1h34m31.421s 1m20.933s 3 25
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 66 0 +29.148s 1m20.695s 4 18
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 66 19 +33.53s 1m19.865s 4 16
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull-Honda 66 13 +39.735s 1m20.643s 3 12
5 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 66 0 +51.369s 1m21.696s 3 10
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 66 0 +55.781s 1m21.496s 3 8
7 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 66 0 +1m03.749s 1m21.886s 3 6
8 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 66 0 +1m04.808s 1m21.032s 3 4
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 66 0 +1m15.369s 1m21.987s 3 2
10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 66 0 +1m16.463s 1m22.014s 3 1
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 66 0 +1m18.955s 1m22.325s 3 0
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 65 0 +1 lap 1m22.167s 3 0
13 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 65 0 +1 lap 1m22.416s 3 0
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 65 0 +1 lap 1m21.97s 3 0
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 65 0 +1 lap 1m22.058s 3 0
16 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 65 0 +1 lap 1m22.654s 3 0
17 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 64 0 +2 laps 1m22.755s 3 0
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 64 0 +2 laps 1m23.155s 3 0
19 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 64 0 +2 laps 1m23.641s 4 0
Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1 0 DNF 0s 0 0

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