Portuguese Grand Prix 2020
Lewis Hamilton has claimed sole possession of the Formula 1 wins record after another dominant victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix. That’s now 92 career Grand Prix wins for the reigning world champion, overtaking Michael Schumacher for top spot on the all-time list.
After a shaky start which saw him briefly drop from first to third, Hamilton recovered well to overtake team-mate Valtteri Bottas and won quite comfortably in the end.
Read on below to relive all the thrills and spills from this historic race at the Algarve International Circuit.
Highlights of the game
After his win at Nurburgring to tie Schumacher’s wins mark, Hamilton’s Portuguese Grand Prix 2020 odds to win were looking good as he claimed pole position following an intense qualifying session. He pipped Bottas for pole by a tenth of a second, with Verstappen a further tenth behind in third.
That intensity in Q3 would carry over to a dramatic opening lap of the race, which produced a host of Portuguese Grand Prix 2020 highlights.
Hamilton got off to a good start, while Bottas needed to fight off Verstappen for second. The Red Bull driver was forced wide, and when he returned to the track he hit Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who spun into the grass. And a few corners later, Verstappen locked up heading into a turn and went off the track.
Bottas then overtook Hamilton for the lead, and the struggling world champion went down to third as McLaren’s Carlos Sainz also pounced shortly thereafter.
The rain made the track quite slippery, with some drivers struggling for grip. And there would be even more drama in lap 2 as Sainz overtook Bottas to become the new race leader.
However, Sainz’s lead would be short-lived as Bottas would retake the lead in lap 6, while Hamilton would also get past Sainz a lap later. Verstappen also recovered from his shaky start to return to his original position in third and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc followed suit in fourth.
The race finally settled down a bit after a frenetic start, but the action resumed in lap 20 as Hamilton used DRS to overtake Bottas. And it didn’t take long for Hamilton to pull away from his team-mate. After just 10 laps, he had already built up an eight-second lead over Bottas.
Meanwhile, Leclerc moved up to third after Verstappen made his first pitstop but was a distant 23 seconds behind the leader.
Hamilton had built up his lead to over 10 seconds by the time he finally made his first pitstop on lap 41, where he switched to the hard compound tyres.
Bottas came in the following lap and similarly went with the hards, but he continued to struggle to keep pace with the leader. But he finally began to put it back together to keep Verstappen at bay.
After a rough start, it was all smooth sailing the rest of the way for Hamilton. He suffered some painful cramping in his leg with less than 10 laps to go, but that wasn’t enough to slow him down as he was nearly half a second ahead by the time he claimed the chequered flag.
Meanwhile, Bottas, Verstappen, and Leclerc also finished where they had started. Pierre Gasly overtook Carlos Sainz in the penultimate lap to climb from ninth to fifth. Meanwhile, Sergio Perez was the big loser as he dropped from fifth to seventh.
Hamilton’s 92nd career Grand Prix win came in Algarve, which is the 28th different circuit he’s won in. That extends the F1 record he already held. Meanwhile, his 25.592-second margin of victory is the largest of 2020.
Mercedes also picked up their fourth 1-2 finish of the season. Hamilton, Bottas and Max Verstappen have now been the podium finishers in seven of the in 12 races this season.
Just below them, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished in the top four for the fourth time this season and the first in seven races. Similarly, team-mate Sebastian Vettel had his fourth 10th-place finish of the season.
After Algarve, F1 returns to the historic Imola circuit for the first time in 14 years as it hosts the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix next week.
SBOTOP odds should once again heavily favour Hamilton, who will look to pick up a win in his 29th track, one that Schumacher dominated with Ferrari (seven wins).
Meanwhile, Ferrari will be eager to put on a much better showing in the race named after their founder. Leclerc and Vettel both retired in the Italian Grand Prix and finished eighth and tenth, respectively, in the Tuscan Grand Prix.
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