Lewis Hamilton won the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday with a perfect drive in his Mercedes, defeating his archrival Max Verstappen.
Hamilton’s 97th Grand Prix victory increased his early season lead over Red Bull’s Verstappen in the Formula One drivers’ standings to eight points.
Polesitter Valtteri Bottas in the other Mercedes finished third in Portimao, with Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull finishing fourth.
‘It was a physically and mentally demanding race.’ “I didn’t get off to a decent start and also missed the restart, but it was a fantastic result in the end,” Hamilton said.
Valtteri Bottas beats Lewis Hamilton to pole position in the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton Sets the Fastest Time in Second Practice in Portugal when He Leaves Social Media
‘Today wasn’t ideal, and we need to get ready for the fast turnaround for Spain right now.’
Bottas followed Hamilton into the first corner of the sun-drenched Algarve International Circuit ahead of the two Red Bulls.
After the two Alfa Romeos crashed, the safety car took the lead by the end of lap five, with Kimi Raikkonen’s front wing scattered around the straight after touching Antonio Giovinazzi’s car.
On lap seven, Bottas closely managed the rolling restart, but in his rearview mirror, Verstappen would have charged past Hamilton and into second place.
- ‘Waiting duck’ –
‘That’s a guy.’ “was the enthusiastic response over the team radio from the Red Bull pits.
Four laps later, Verstappen’s error on turn 14 allowed Hamilton to reclaim second, darting by on the inside with Verstappen snapping: ‘I’m just a sitting duck on the straight.’ It’s incredible.”
At the start of lap 20, Hamilton took the lead with a superb sweeping drive past Bottas, easily opening a gap between the Mercedes guys.
Verstappen was the first of the leading group to pit on lap 36, led by Bottas, Hamilton, and Perez, who had yet to change tyres.
With 13 laps remaining, Hamilton powered past Perez to reclaim possession of the third leg of the record 23-race season, and the race was his to lose from there.
‘I believe Max made an error at some point, and it was fine.’ With Valtteri, I had to make the change quickly before the tyres were broken, and I just got him on turn one. I’m about at my max. “Excellent race,” Hamilton said.
‘We weren’t on top of it here, so we’ll see what we can do in Barcelona,” Verstappen said, pointing to the race in Spain next weekend.
In the closing stages, the issue of who will end up with a potentially critical point for the fastest lap sparked interest.
Verstappen believed he’d won it, only to see his effort thrown out due to track limits, with Bottas finally taking the win.
The Red Bulls are emerging as serious rivals to Mercedes’ dominance, but the world champions have clearly worked hard to correct any output disparities between the two squads.
And after three races, Hamilton has won twice in his hunt for a historic eighth world title, contributing to his opening victory in Bahrain, with Verstappen winning in Imola.
Lando Norris of resurgent McLaren is third in the drivers’ standings after finishing fifth on Sunday.
He finished ahead of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, with the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), and Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri rounding out the top ten.
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