Portuguese GP 2021
MAY 2, 2021
Race Notes - Hamilton wins Portuguese Grand Prix
By Mark Karp
Lewis Hamilton won the Portuguese in his Mercedes GP, Max Verstappen in the Red Bull-Honda was second, 29.148 seconds behind, Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes was third, 33.530 seconds behind the winner.
The win in Hamilton’s second of the season, and his 97th career win. Hamilton now leads the World Championship by 8 points over Verstappen.
Sergio Perez (39.735s) in the second Red Bull, after a slow first few laps, made his way back up to fourth place, followed by Lando Norris (51.369s), in the McLaren-Mercedes finished fifth, Charles Leclerc (55.781s), in the Ferrari was sixth, Esteban Ocon (1m03.749s) in the Alpine-Renault was seventh, his team mate Fernando Alonso (1m04.808s) was eighth, Daniel Ricciardo (1m15.369s) in the second McLaren was ninth and Pierre Gasly (1m16.463s) in the AlphaTauri-Honda took the final point in tenth place.
Before the start of the third round of the world championship on a sunny day, Bottas is on pole, with Hamilton alongside on the front row, Verstappen and Perez on row two, Sainz and Ocon on row three, Norris and Leclerc on row four and Gasly and Vettel rounding out the top ten.
The front four starting on medium tyres, Sainz, Ocon, Norris, Gasly and Sebastian Vettel on soft tyres.
At the appointed time, the grid came round, the lights went out and the race began with Bottas takes the lead over Verstappen and Sainz. Ocon overtakes Norris, but Norris gets back sixth place later in the lap.
On lap 2 Kimi Raikkonen makes contact with his team mate and his front wing is broken - he goes off into the gravel trap at turn one, and the safety car comes out.
The field comes through the pitlane to avoid any debris.
Behind the safety car Bottas leads Hamilton, Verstappen, Sainz, Perez, Norris, Ocon, Leclerc, Gasly and Vettel in tenth, followed by George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi, Ricciardo, Alonso, Yuki Tsunoda, Lance Stroll, Nicolas Latifi, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.
Bottas reports to his team that his rear brakes are very hot.
Hamiton runs half a second behind his team mate Bottas.
Yuki Tsunoda is warned that he has been exceeding track limits.
On lap 15 Perez passes Norris for fourth place.
At lap 15 Bottas leads Hamilton by 0.7s, followed by Verstappen (2.2s), Perez (10.0s), Norris (12.1s), Sainz (13.7s), Leclerc (15.1s), Ocon (16.6s), Gasly (18.1s) and Vettel (20.1s) in tenth place.
On lap 18 Ricciardo passes Vettel for tenth place.
On lap 20 Hamilton makes a run at Bottas with DRS, and passes on the outside of the first corner to take the lead.
Bottas start falling back into the clutches of Verstappen.
On lap 22 Sainz pits from sixth and takes on medium tyres, and rejoins in 15th place.
The next lap Norris, Ocon, Vettel and Giovinazzi all pit.
Norris and Sainz battling for tenth.
Hamilton leads Bottas by 1.9 seconds.
Hamilton tells the team, “there is definaty a lot of wear.”
On lap 25 Gasly pits.
On lap 26 Leclerc pits from fifth for hard tyres and rejoins in tenth.
On lap 26 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m22.138s.
Vettel passes Russell for 13th.
On lap 28 Hamilton sets another fast lap at 1m21.995s.
Verstappen complains to the team that he is not able to use third gear.
At lap 30 Hamilton leads Bottas by 3.3 seconds, followed by Verstappen (3,7s), Perez (12.7s), Ricciardo (33.5s), Alonso (35.5s), Stroll (41.3s), Norris (49.8s), Sainz (52.3s) and Leclerc (54.1s) in tenth place.
On lap 30 Hamilton sets another fast lap at 1m21,934s.
Verstappen is pressuring Bottas for second place.
On lap 33 Hamilton sets another fast lap at 1m21.613s.
On lap 34 Ocon passes Gasly for 11th place.
On lap 36 Verstappen pits from third and changes to hard tyres and rejoins in fourth behind Perez.
The next lap Bottas pits from second for hard tyres as well and stays ahead of Verstappen. Into turn 5 Verstappen comes up the inside and takes third place.
The next lap Hamilton pits for hard tyres and rejoins in second ahead of Verstappen. Perez, yet to pit, takes over the lead.
Leclerc goes past Sainz for ninth place.
On lap 40 Strol pits from seventh place.
At lap 40 Perez leads Hamilton by 11.8 seconds, followed by Verstappen (14.9s), Bottas (18.3s), Ricciardo (28.0s), Alonso (32.4s), Norris (44.2s), Leclerc (47.5s), Sainz (50.0s) and Ocon (50.2s) in tenth.
On lap 40 Alonso pits from sixth for hard tyres and rejons in 11th.
Ricciardo pits for hard tyres and rejoins in tenth.
On lap 41 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m21.494
On lap 42 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m21.407s.
The next lap Hamilton goes quicker at 1m21.380s.
Toto Wolff urges Bottas that he is the quickest on track now.
On lap 44 Ocon passes Sainz for seventh place.
Bottas is closing on Verstappen and trails him for third by 1.7 seconds.
On lap 45 Bottas sets fast lap at 1m20.983s.
Mazepin holds up Perez in lapping him, he leads by 3.9 seconds.
On lap 47 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m20.933s.
On lap 49 Ricciardo passes Gasely for ninth, Alonso passes Gasly as well.
On lapp 51 Hamilton passes Perez for the lead.
On lap 52 Alonso passes Ricciardo for ninth.
Perez pits for soft tyres and rejoins in fourth, looking for a fast lap before the finish.
At lap 53 Hamilton leads Verstappen by 4.9 seconds, followed by Bottas (6.5s), Perez (32.5s), Norris (43.7s), Leclerc (47.5s), Ocon (52.7s), Sainz (58.8s), Alonso (1m00.5s) and Ricciardo (1m02.6s) in tenth place.
On lap 55 Perez sets fast lap at 1m20.643s.
Bottas has a slow lap, and the team tells him he had a power unit sensor warning.
Giovinazzi passes Vettel for 12th.
Alonso on hard tyres is closing on Sainz on medium tyres.
On lap 59 Alonso passes Sainz for eighth place.
Bottas tells the team that he feels slow on the straights.
Stroll passes his team mate Vettel for 13th place.
At lap 60 Hamilton leads Verstappen by 5.2 seconds, followed by Bottas (10.4s), Perez (37.8s), Norris (48.9s), Leclerc (52.1s), Ocon (1m00,1s), Alonso (1m04.5s), Sainz (1m09.6s) and Ricciardo (1m11.0s) in tenth place.
On lap 63 Schumacher passes Latifi for 17th place.
Ricciardo is closing on Sainz in ninth place.
On lap 64 Bottas pits for soft tyres to make a go at fast lap.
On lap 65 Verstappen pits for soft tyres as well.
On lap 65 Bottas takes fast lap at 1m19.865s.
Gasly passes Sainz for tenth place.
Hamilton wins the race, followed by Verstappen and Bottas.
On the final lap Verstappen takes fast lap at 1m19.849s, but it is then deleted for exceeding track limits - the fastest lap goes to Bottas.
The circus will be back next week for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.