It was a thrilling start to the first-ever Formula 1 race at Portimao, with a wild first few laps that involved an appearance from Carlos Sainz at the very front as the Mercedes duo struggled to find heat in their tyres. 

However, this would not last for long as the Mercedes pair retook the lead, with Hamilton passing Bottas and then cruising to the finish to take his 92nd win in the sport, making him F1’s record holder for most wins ever. 

Here’s our winners & losers from the Portuguese GP…

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

Without a doubt the biggest winner of this weekend, Lewis is comfortably on the way to his seventh world championship after his brilliant win in Portugal. 

A difficult first lap from the Brit allowed Valtteri Bottas to take the lead before Sainz would overtake both, but this would only last for six laps as the Mercedes drivers swept around the outside of the Spaniard. 

Bottas held off Hamilton until lap 20, when the 6-time world champion mounted an attack and passed the Finn along the start-finish straight before charging clear to open up a huge advantage, despite suffering from a cramp in the final few laps. 

Hamilton finished over 25 seconds ahead of Bottas in the biggest winning margin of the season to move 77 points ahead of his teammate in the championship battle and edge ever closer to equalling Schumacher’s record of seven world titles, which he can now achieve in two races’ time.

Loser: Valtteri Bottas

Another one to forget for Valtteri Bottas as the chance to inflict a rare defeat on Hamilton slips by again.

After a strong start to the weekend by taking a clean sweep of all practice sessions, Valtteri looked the man to beat ahead of qualifying. 

A mis-step in his qualifying strategy saw Bottas miss out on pole position, earning himself a start on the dirty side of the grid. 

The Finn made up for an initial poor getaway by passing Verstappen and Hamilton with some bold driving. That was briefly swept aside by the fast-starting Carlos Sainz, before Bottas caught and overtook the Spaniard for the lead. 

Valtteri’s winning hopes would come crashing down as Hamilton hunted him down and swept by on the run to Turn 20, leaving the Finn with no pace whatsoever to keep in touch. 

Winner: Sergio Perez 

Sergio Perez was a man on a mission. 

A decent start for the Mexican was cut short after an incident with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen resulted in Perez spinning off the track and dropping to dead last. 

But what followed was an his incredible journey to the pointy end of the grid, with Perez moving as high as fifth in his recovery drive.

He was unlucky not to hold onto that position as the late-charging duo of Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz caught him, leaving Checo with a solid seventh place finish. 

It will be a crime if Perez is left without a drive for next season after proving his worth once again in Portugal.

Loser: Alex Albon

On a weekend where Alex Albon needed to go well, sadly only the opposite occurred. 

After qualifying sixth, Albon was always going to have a battle on his hands to get close to his teammate Verstappen up in third. 

The start didn’t go to plan for the Anglo-Thai driver who was overtaken by both McLarens and Renaults after struggling to get off the line with low tyre temperatures. 

From there, it went from bad to worse. Albon dropped back to 11th, got stuck in the midfield train and suffered with issues with graining and tyre wear. 

A weekend that Alex didn’t need, and one that certainly places more pressure on the young driver as he heads to Imola to continue his fight for his future. 

Winner: Pierre Gasly

A contender for driver of the season has to be Pierre Gasly who continued his redemption streak with a brilliant race. 

After experiencing a fire in his AlphaTauri during the Friday practice sessions and given a new chassis, Gasly was on the back foot for qualifying but was still able to take ninth.

In the race, Pierre proved untouchable, unlocking the magic on his Soft tyres to keep them alive and subsequently move to the front of the grid. 

After a mighty battle with Sergio Perez in the closing stages of the race, Gasly was able to take home a super fifth place finish. 

Loser: Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll made a very rusty return to F1 in Portugal after missing the Eifel GP due to illness, later to be revealed as Covid-19. 

The Canadian endured an absolute nightmare as he clashed with Max Verstappen at Turn 1 in second practice, before a near-identical incident occurred in the race with a wild move on Lando Norris at the same corner. 

This resulted in a five-second time penalty for Stroll, which was repeated when he was also penalised for repeated track limits offences. 

Stroll subsequently would retire from the race due to the damage suffered from the crash with Norris, ending a truly terrible weekend for his side of the garage. 

A special shoutout must go to Kimi Raikkonen, who had a stunning first-lap that took him from 16th on the grid to 6th! Insane stuff from the Iceman. Other mentions go to Charles Leclerc for a superb performance to convert his brilliant qualifying lap into a strong P4 finish and Renault, who strengthened its fifth-place in the constructors’ with a double-points haul.

Who was your biggest winner & loser from the Portuguese Grand Prix? Are you impressed with Lewis Hamilton breaking Michael Schumacher’s record? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to Crash F1. 

 

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