The British racer won 97th in his F1 career, after passing both rival Max Verstappen and teammate Valtteri Bottas to finish the Portuguese leg in the afternoon of May 2.

There was no early advantage due to Bottas’s loss of just 0.007 seconds in Saturday afternoon’s classification, but Hamilton still showed outstanding competence despite the difficulties in the early stages of the Portuguese race. Verstappen and Bottas seemed to have beaten the English racer at times but were gradually helpless before trying to pursue the fastest-lap in the final stage to get one more point.

Hamilton celebrates on Podium after winning the Portuguese race.  Photo: Reuters.

Hamilton celebrates on Podium after winning the Portuguese race. Image: Reuters.

With the two W12s taking the first place right on the RB16B of Red Bull, Mercedes continues to have a great advantage over the Portuguese race. The developments on the track have proved this. Although he tried to close in the first few seconds, Verstappen was helpless in overtaking Hamilton. However, the event on the track soon gave the Dutch driver the opportunity to attack.

The impatience of competition caused the old general Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) to crash into the back of the fellow Antonio Giovinazzi, causing the Finnish racer C41 to break his front wing and stop on the side of the track. Debris after the collision makes the car safe to be deployed right from the second round to clean up.

When the safe vehicle withdrew at the end of the 6th round, Verstappen immediately followed and waited to attack Hamilton. Thanks to the DRS support on the straight line, the Dutch star easily overtook the Mercedes driver at the entrance to Turn 1 and won 2nd place. Right after that, Verstappen broke out to attack. Bottas’s leading position, but after a few rounds the Dutch driver was forced to focus on defending the position against the pressure of a counterattack from Hamilton.

By the end of round 10, after the opponent made a mistake and slipped slightly on Turn 14, the British driver of Mercedes chased Verstappen and brought the opponent into the range of the DRS. The RB16B was overtaken at the end of the straight line in front of the entrance to Turn 1.

Then, it was Bottas’s turn to become prey for Hamilton. The British driver patiently followed his teammate for 9 laps before making a perfect pass on Turn 1. From now on, the race was completely under Hamilton’s control. Mercedes No. 1 driver continuously set up fastest-lap to gradually outstrip his opponents.

Lewis Hamilton won the Portuguese Grand Prix intercept

From this moment on, the main movement of the race focused on the second place competition between Bottas and Verstappen. As usual, Bottas proved far behind his Dutch juniors. The decisive moment takes place in the middle of the race, when the drivers change their tires for the first time. At this time, the distance between Hamilton and Bottas was almost 4 seconds. Verstappen was behind and Bottas was about 1 second behind.

Seeing Verstappen struggling behind Bottas, Red Bull decided to call the rider home to pit in the 35th round in front of his opponent to jump to second place. The usual fast tire change of the Austrian team helped Verstappen. get a big advantage. To deal with the opponent’s plans, Mercedes was forced to bring Bottas back to replace the tire in the next round.

However, a slight delay in tire change made Bottas still stand above his opponent when he returned to the track, but the small gap made the Finnish driver helpless to protect his position. Verstappen got the first lap after changing a very good tire to give him a favorable speed, easily overcoming his opponent, then he still did not make the tire hot enough after leaving the pit to get a few corners.

After overcoming the opponent, Verstappen continued to break through thanks to the RB16B’s performance with the newly replaced hard tire. The distance between Verstappen and Bottas soon increased to more than 3 seconds. From now until the end of the race, Bottas was satisfied with 3rd place when he could not close the gap with his opponent.

In the final rounds, when realizing that the distance between Bottas and 4th place was safe enough, Mercedes decided to call the Finnish driver to change the tire again in order to win the fastest-lap and get 1 more point. Red Bull also took the opportunity to call Verstappen to the pit in the next round to compete for 1 point with Mercedes. Bottas and Verstappen took turns setting up the fastest-lap in the last two rounds. However, Red Bull’s performance was canceled due to the RB16B running out of track when performing fastest-lap. Bottas got 1 more point from winning fastest-lap.

In the back, Verstappen teammate Sergio Perez had a memorable race to go upstream and overtake Lando Norris (McLaren) and the duo Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) to successfully defend 4th place.

After overtaking Bottas and Verstappen, Hamilton easily secured the number one spot until the end of the leg.  Photo: Reuters.

After overtaking Bottas and Verstappen, Hamilton easily secured the number one spot until the end of the leg. Image: Reuters.

After the race, Hamilton was satisfied with the victory: “This is a difficult race, both physically and mentally, it is difficult to stay focused. I did not get off to a good start like Valtteri and then met again. hard at safe rear-start. I have to try and focus maximally Max has made mistakes at some point and it helps me in the race.With Valtteri, I try to attack early before the tires go down and I understand that just being close to him on Turn 1 will attack. It was my best personal effort. Today’s race results are amazing. “

Verstappen admits Red Bull is still inferior to Mercedes: “My race was going pretty well. I had a great start when the car safely left and then tried to put pressure on the Valtteri. Overall, I think. that we just lacked a bit of speed and let Lewis pass. After changing the tire, heating up the tires was extremely difficult This was a tough day of the tire race. We failed but will try try to win next leg at Barcelona. “

Bottas was not satisfied with the W12: “I really don’t know what happened during the pre-tire change period. I don’t have the optimal speed. After changing the tire everything was pretty good but the car malfunctioned. And there were some problems with the sensors. I got a powerful car today but I really don’t understand why it doesn’t work well, especially in the first half of the race. “

Portuguese Grand Prix results

Order

Racer

Team

Location

start

Achievements

Point

first

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

2

1 hour 34 minutes 31,421 seconds

25

2

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

3

+29,148 seconds

18

3

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

first

+33,530

16

4

Sergio Perez

Red Bull

4

+39,735

twelfth

5

Lando Norris

McLaren

7

+51,369

ten

6

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

8

+55,781

8

7

Esteban Ocon

Alpine

6

+63,749

6

8

Fernando Alonso

Alpine

13

+64,808

4

9

Daniel Ricciardo

McLaren

16

+75,369

2

ten

Pierre Gasly

AlphaTauri

9

+76,463

first

11

Carlos Sainz Jnr

Ferrari

5

+78,955

twelfth

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo

twelfth

+1 round

13

Sebastian Vettel

Aston Martin

ten

+1 round

14

Lance Stroll

Aston Martin

17

+1 round

15

Yuki Tsunoda

AlphaTauri

14

+1 round

16

George Russell

Williams

11

+1 round

17

Mick Schumacher

Haas

19

+2 rounds

18

Nicholas Latifi

Williams

18

+2 rounds

19

Nikita Mazepin

Haas

20

+2 rounds

20

Kimi Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo

15

Quitting the race

+) Fastest-lap: 1 minute 19,865 seconds due Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) up at round 65.

Team rankings after leg 3

Order

Race team

Point

first

Mercedes

101

2

Red Bull

83

3

McLaren

53

4

Ferrari

42

5

Alpine

14

6

AlphaTauri

9

7

Aston Martin

5

8

Williams

9

Haas

ten

Alfa Romeo

Racer rankings after leg 3

Order

Racer

Team

Point

first

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

69

2

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

sixty one

3

Lando Norris

McLaren

37

4

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

32

5

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

28

6

Sergio Perez

Red Bull

22

7

Daniel Ricciardo

McLaren

16

8

Carlos Sainz Jr.

Ferrari

14

9

Esteban Ocon

Alpine

8

ten

Pierre Gasly

AlphaTauri

7

11

Lance Stroll

Aston Martin

5

twelfth

Fernando Alonso

Alpine

5

13

Yuki Tsunoda

AlphaTauri

2

14

Kimi Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo

15

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo

16

Sebastian Vettel

Aston Martin

17

George Russell

Williams

18

Mick Schumacher

Haas

19

Nikita Mazepin

Haas

20

Nicholas Latifi

Williams

Minh Phuong


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