May 11, 2021

Sports Legend

Formula 1: team-by-team analysis of the Portuguese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton is greeted by the Mercedes team after his victory in Portugal
Image Credit: AP

MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 1, Valtteri Bottas 3) Hamilton started on the front row, fell to third after a restart in the safety car, but passed Max Verstappen and Bottas to claim his second win of the season and 97th of his career. The seven-time world champion is now eight points ahead of Verstappen and has set a record for most grand prix topping the championship (122). Bottas started on pole, lost time due to an exhaust sensor failure but took the fastest lap after a second late pit stop.

RED BULL (Max Verstappen 2, Sergio Perez 4) Verstappen started third on the grid, passed Hamilton for second, but was passed again. He edged out Bottas after his first pit stop. The Dutch driver has one victory and two seconds from the first three races. Perez started fourth, and led for a while for a long first stint hoping for a safety car period. The two made second stops in an attempt for the fastest lap, with Verstappen stripped of his efforts to get off the track.

MCLAREN (Lando Norris 5, Daniel Ricciardo 9) Norris started seventh and continued their excellent start to the season, leaving Portugal in third place overall. Ricciardo moved up from 16th place on the grid to end the weekend with a smile.

FERRARI (Charles Leclerc 6, Carlos Sainz 11) Leclerc finished two places higher than his position on the grid. Sainz was fourth at the start, but then lost three places. The performance of his car’s tires then fell in the later stages.

ALPIN (Esteban Ocon 7, Fernando Alonso 8) Second successive double top 10 of the team. Ocon started sixth but lost to Norris early on. Alonso started 13th, fell in 15th, then fought back firmly. The next race is his Spanish Grand Prix at home.

ALPHATAURI (Pierre Gasly 10, Yuki Tsunoda 15) Gasly picked up the last point after a tough race struggling for pace and grip, passing Sainz at the end. Tsunoda had similar difficulties.

ASTON MARTIN (Sebastian Vettel 13, Lance Stroll 14) Vettel starts 10th, Stroll 17th. The German did a long stint on medium tires. He was asked to let Stroll pass him on new tires and he did, but the Canadian couldn’t come close to the points and eventually gave up the place.

ALFA ROMEO (Antonio Giovinazzi 12 years old, Kimi Raikkonen retired) Raikkonen collided with Giovinazzi in the first lap, blaming himself and becoming the only dropout. The incident caused the safety car to exit as the marshals cleared up the debris. Alfa, who have yet to score a point this season, failed to undo a penalty from the previous race that cost them points.

WILLIAMS (George Russell 16, Nicholas Latifi 18) A promising 11th place for Russell turned into a nightmare as the car proved difficult to manage when chasing others in gusty conditions. Latifi was passed by Mick Schumacher from Haas.

HAAS (Mick Schumacher 17, Nikita Mazepin 19) Mazepin took a five-second penalty for ignoring the blue warning flags as Perez attempted to pass.