Valtteri Bottas went fastest in Portuguese Grand Prix first practice

Portuguese Grand Prix: Portimao Offers New Battle Ground

Portuguese Grand Prix

Formula One will take a detour from its usual schedule as we will head over to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve – which is better known as Portimao.

The Portuguese Grand Prix will make its return for the first time in a long while, and it will feature a new venue that presents a different challenge for all of our drivers.

In the last time out, Lewis Hamilton made history when he drew level with Michael Schumacher in the all-time wins list at 91 after a splendid performance in the Eifel Grand Prix. So a rare opportunity awaits the British racer as he will have the chance to move past the Ferrari icon to take win no. 92.

Daniel Ricciardo was one of the surprises in the said race as he finished with a podium, and he is hopeful that he can follow that one up with another positive result.

It’s safe to say that it will take some time for these drivers to get acclimated in Portimao. But who gets the edge ahead of this weekend?

Read on below as SBOTOP brings you the latest Portuguese Grand Prix 2020 updates.

 

Mercedes making major change

A key factor as to why the Silver Arrows have been successful this season is because of the performance edge that they have in their cars.

To be particular, their Dual Axis Steering System (DAS) has been helpful in key stretches, and it’s no secret that it was embroiled with controversy especially earlier this year.

The FIA has already ruled out its usage for next season, which might make or break Mercedes’ campaign moving forward. So as early as now, they plan on not using it in the upcoming practices in Portimao as part of their learning curve.

“A lot of the directions that Valtteri Bottas and I have been pushing the car over these past couple of years have come to fruition, and then there’s I’d say things that the team have dreamed up – some incredible designs such as DAS,” said Lewis Hamilton.

“Of course it’s not around for next year which is totally fine, we’ll find another – another of the geniuses will come up with another great way of moving the team forward,” he added.

While Lewis Hamilton has been doing well so far this season, the same can’t be said for his teammate in Valtteri Bottas and he’ll have to make up some lost ground.

The Finnish racer got a DNF in Nurburgring despite having the pole position, and another retirement might spell disaster for his campaign.

Lewis Hamilton struggled for pace in the Portuguese Grand Prix FP2

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during Portuguese GP first practice

Renault seeking bigger fish to fry

Slowly but surely, Renault has been clawing its way back on top of the midfield since the start of this season.

And while they missed out on several podiums before, Renault has shown massive improvements and that culminated to Daniel Ricciardo’s podium finish in the Eifel Grand Prix.

It was Renault’s first podium since 2016 which makes this reward sweeter. So heading into this weekend, they are optimistic that they can do it again with Daniel Ricciardo leading the way.

“We’ve had a couple of fourth places this year, so close to third, and it felt like it would happen. Persistence pays off and I’m really happy for the team and the hardwork everyone has been putting in for a few years now,” said Ricciardo.

“We’re not finished yet, though. I think there’s another one in us before the year is out,” he reiterated.

 

Haas facing uncertainty

We’ve learned recently that Haas are changing their lineup for next year since Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen announced that they will move on. Because of this, the biggest question for them is whether who they bring in for next season.

Several candidates have emerged for the American-based outfit. Pundits believe that Haas have the option to go young and they might bring in some up-and-coming racers.

It is believed that one of the seats will go to Ferrari junior driver Mick Schumacher, while fellow F2 competitor Nikita Mazepin is also a possible candidate.

Other names such as Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Callum Illott, and Robert Shwartzman are all in the mix as well.

 

History

The Portuguese Grand Prix was originally held during the 1950s to 1990s, with the last one being in 1996.

Ferrari holds the all-time record in most wins in Portugal with seven – including a four-peat from 1951 to 1954.

 

What are the odds?

The Portuguese Grand Prix 2020 odds have Lewis Hamilton as the heavy favourite to win at 1.67 in Portimao. The British driver is also on pace to outperform his teammate in Valtteri Bottas, who is priced at 2.56 when being compared to him.

The two podium spots are up for grabs with the likes of Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo all in the running.

 

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