While he may be faced with a significant challenge from his teammate Valtteri Bottas and his Red Bull Racing competitor Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton’s win at the Portuguese Grand Prix has once again proved that the seven-time World Champion will be a force to be reckoned with, even when the odds are no longer in his favor.
The Portuguese Grand Prix went green, and polesitter Valtteri Bottas got a great start. He led the top three qualifiers in order into the first turn.
The safety car came out after Alfa Romeo teammates made contact on the first lap. Kimi Raikkonen ran into Antonio Giovinazzi’s left rear wheel, which caused Raikkonen to lose part of his front wing and, as a result, was forced to DNF.
The race went green on lap seven, with Max Verstappen pushing ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who had fallen back from Bottas in the lead. McLaren’s Lando Norris also snuck past Sergio Perez, settling him in a comfortable fourth place.
On lap 11, though, Hamilton re-secured his second place. Verstappen was still hot on his heels, but Hamilton slowly began to build up a gap. It didn’t pay off until lap 20, when Lewis was able to snap by his teammate. Yet again, he built up an impressive gap over the course of a single lap despite pointing out the poor quality of his tires.
Ferrari kicked off pit stops on lap 22, which continued for about 15 laps. Bottas pitted first for Mercedes on lap 36, seeing him lose a position to Verstappen and Sergio Perez. It gave Lewis Hamilton a bit of extra gap so that, when he pitted, he was able to come out just behind Perez, who had yet to pit.
Hamilton inherited the lead of the race when Perez finally had to pit on lap 51. With a near-five second lead over the competition, it looked like the race was very well settled in the reigning champion’s favor. Nikita Mazepin was also awarded a time penalty for failing to adhere to the blue flags that were waved for him.
And that was where Hamilton remained. No one had anything left in the tank to bring to the reigning champion, even with Verstappen and Bottas pitting to try to secure the fastest laps of the race.
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing)
- Lando Norris (McLaren)
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)