Hamilton takes victory in Portugal

Second win of 2021 for reigning champion

Formel 1 - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Großer Preis von Portugal 2021. Lewis Hamilton Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Portugal GP 2021. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton took his second win of the 2021 Formula 1 season with victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

His teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finished third, with Max Verstappen splitting the Mercedes cars at Portimao.

Carlos Sainz made a strong start from fifth to get ahead of Sergio Perez into the first corner, Fernando Alonso dropped down the order after running wide.

The safety car was needed as the drivers completed the first lap, with Kimi Raikkonen catching his front wing on the rear of teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, covering the main straight in debris before pulling his Alfa Romeo off the track.

Bottas managed the restart well, easily getting the jump on Hamilton, who immediately came under pressure from Verstappen behind. The reigning champion planted his car on the inside line, but Verstappen had the pace to go around the outside, moving up the second.

The Red Bull driver tried to put the race leader under pressure, but a mistake meant Hamilton was able to retake second, with the Briton powering past Bottas a few laps later.

Charles Leclerc was the first driver to pit, with many of those who started on the soft tyre quickly following, but the leaders, having started on the medium compound, continued.

Verstappen was first through the pits from the leaders, with Red Bull switching the Dutchman onto hard tyres. Mercedes brought Bottas in on the following lap, and the Finn rejoined the track just ahead of Verstappen, but with his tyres not yet up to temperature, he saw the Red Bull cruise past a couple of corners later.

Red Bull left Perez out longer, with the Mexican taking over at the front of the field. He was held up by backmarker Nikita Mazepin, who received a five-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags, before Hamilton reclaimed the advantage at the front of the field, with Perez pitting straight after.

Bottas reported a power problem in the final 10 laps, with Perez pushing hard to get the gap down to the final podium place, but the Mercedes seemed to recover, allowing Mercedes to bring the Finn in late on to put him on fresh tyres for a fastest lap attempt.

Red Bull also pitted Verstappen with two laps remaining to give him a shot at fastest lap. The Dutchman thought he’d done enough to secure the bonus point, but a track limit infringement meant it was Bottas who was credited with the fastest lap of the day. 

Alonso showed strong pace late in the race, while Daniel Ricciardo, who started in 16th after a difficult qualifying session made a couple of late passes to secure a points finish.

Provisional classification:

1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

5. Lando Norris (McLaren)

6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

7. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

8. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

9. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

10. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

11. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

12. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

13. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

14. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

15. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

16. George Russell (Williams)

17. Mick Schumacher (Haas)

18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

19. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)


Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

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