Luis Hamilton was able to beat Carlos Sainc and Walter Botas in Portugal after a poor performance in the first laps. This was the 92nd time in Hamilton’s career that he won an F1 race. Hamilton has become an absolute record holder, overtaking Michael Schumacher by one victory.
Although the Portuguese Grand Prix was on the championship calendar until 1996, at that time the race took place in Estoril, while the stage on the Portimao track had not yet taken place. While Schumacher has won 23 different tracks during his career, Hamilton has already done so on 28 tracks. During his career, he has not only triumphed in Valencia, Jeongama, New Delhi and Manikur.
Portimao became the second track after Mujello on this season’s calendar, where the previous F1 stages have not been completed. In the 21st century, 2 new tracks have been added to the calendar only twice in one season – in 2008 Marinabei (Singapore GP) and Valencia (European GP), and in 2004 in Shanghai (Chinese GP) and Sakira (Bahrain GP).
The situation on the podium looked quite ordinary – Hamilton in the first place, Botass in the second, Verstapen in the third. This was the sixth time that the Top 3 finished in this order. The only combination achieved more often with Hamilton in 1st place, Rosberg in 2nd place and Fitee in 3rd place was seen 8 times.
Walter Botass, who finished in second place, climbed the podium for the 54th time in his career. Although the Finnish driver has not yet become the champion, he has entered the top three as often as the three-time champion Nikki Lauda, who spent the last years of his life developing the Mercedes team.
In the first laps of the race, “Mercedes” pilots had to watch helplessly as Carlos Saincs, who started from the seventh position, took the reins. This was only the second time in Sainz’s career that he was in charge of F1 racing. A month and a half ago, Italian GP Sainc spent a lap behind a safety car after the infamous Hamilton pit stop at the red light box at the entrance.
The main character of the first rounds could be considered the old master Kimi Raikonen. With softer tires than its competitors, the driver of the Alfa Romeo climbed nine positions from 16th to 7th place in the first lap, but took another position in the next lap. Raikonen’s joys were not long, because in the continuation of the race he had to acknowledge the superiority of the competitors and finish immediately after points in 11th place, so in the overall standings he is still points behind teammate Antonio Gižičinaci.
Serhio Peres managed to recover from the first lap with Verstapen and finished 7th. Although Peres lost two positions in the last laps, he has finished in all the stages he started this year. In Silverstone, he was replaced by Niko Hulkenberg due to the Covid-19 virus, so the only driver to score in all 12 stages is Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton has earned 256 points in 12 stages, the same as Sebastian Vettel became the 19-stage champion in 2010 in a long season. However, at that time no point was awarded for the fastest lap that Hamilton has earned 5 times this year. In the next stage, the champion will not be crowned yet. Even if Hamilton wins the fastest lap, but Botass stays in the beige, the two will be divided by 103 points, while in the last 4 stages it is possible to reach 104 points.