Bottas, Verstappen and Hamilton
Portuguese Grand Prix LIVE:
- Lewis Hamilton sweeps past Valtteri Bottas to take the lead ahead of the pitstops
- Max Verstappen overtakes Bottas for a net second after Red Bull blink first in the pit stops
- Max Verstappen manages to get past Lewis Hamilton early in the race, but hands it back with mistake
- Kimi Raikkonen out of the GP after hitting his team-mate
- Top three all start on the medium tyre, suggesting similar strategies
Five seconds between Hamilton in the lead and Verstappen, five seconds behind is Vatteri Bottas in third.
“Keep pushing, we might get the opportunity for a free stop” Bottas is told on the radio.
Nice battle between Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi for P17. Schumacher looking racy.
Meanwhile at the front, Bottas reports: “Feels like I’m slow on the straights.”
Problems for Bottas? Complaining of loss of power on the radio.
HAM, VER, BOT, PER, NOR, LEC, OCO, SAI ALO, RIC
Bottas seems back up to speed now.
Lewis Hamilton takes the lead of the race back overtaking Sergio Perez for the lead.
Perez now finally told to box and come into the pits for a new set of soft boots.
Verstappen’s team-mate comes out P4.
Five second time penalty for Nikita Mazepin for ignoring blue flags.
Lando Norris is told the gap between himself and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc behind – the response is: “Yeah just let me drive, I’m flat out – I’m doing what I can.”
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Nikita Mazepin and Sergio Perez: TURN 3 INCIDENT, ignoring blue flags.
TOP 10: PER HAM VER BOT NOR LEC OCO SAI RIC ALO
Important to remember that Perez still not yet to pit.
Don’t hear this much – team principal Toto Wolff comes on the radio half way through the race: “Hunt him down Valtteri, you’re the quickest car,” is the message.
“Plan A +10” is the news to Sergio Perez, which probably means plan A plus 10 laps. He still has the net lead of the race at the moment.
Fastest lap goes to Bottas again – a 1:20.983.
Near tangle from Perez, leading the race, and back of the pack Nikita Mazepin, who fails to move for the faster car. “F**king idiot” says Perez.
Bottas now sets the fastest lap with a 1:21.407s – “This tyre is resilient, you can push to the end on this. you are the fastest man out there”
Slow stop for Daniel Ricciardo after all of that hard work – 4.8s for McLaren. He fought his way up from P16 to the top 10, but rejoins P10.
Hard tyres for Max Verstappen, 2.3s – a quick stop for the Red Bull team. Big lock-up coming into the pits for the Dutchman, but the hard tyres take much longer to warm up – will this work out?
“Pick up the pace” is the message to Valtteri Bottas however a lap later, Bottas comes in for a set of new hard tyres – a 3.3s stop.
It hasn’t worked out for Bottas as Verstappen has warmed up his tyres and takes a net second place at turn 5 at the hairpin.
“This is going well,” Daniel Ricciardo told on the radio by the McLaren team as the Australian currently sits P5 after starting P16.
Lewis Hamilton sets ANOTHER fastest lap of the grand prix, this time a 1:21.934.
Bottas has dropped 4 seconds behind the later, with Verstappen closing in on the Finn.
Verstappen has been complaing on the radio that his third gear is lagging, and that he can’t use it.
Nicholas Latifi on the hard tyres sweeps past George Russell – not a good day for the Brit.
Hard or soft is the choice for the leaders. Who will pounce first…
1:21:199 – Hamilton is enjoying himself out there despite complaining about his tyres.
“If the gap goes over 3.5,” Bottas will pit first the Finn is told on the radio.
George Russell meanwhile pits and ccomes out P18, not what he was hoping after starting P11 in the Williams.
“You got the pace here,” Verstappen being told.
Half a secoond between Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.
None of the top three have pitted for new tyres yet.
1:22.138 – looks like Lewis Hamilton has some clean air as he sets the fastest lap of the grand prix.
He didn’t look close enough to make that work, but after an UNBELIEVABLE move, Hamilton leads the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Similar move to Verstappen on Hamilton at the SC restart, Hamilton sweeps round the outside of his team-mate at T1.
“Tyres are pretty shot” comes the radio message from Hamilton.
Verstappen now closing down on Bottas…
Not much has changed. Pit window is now open – most on the mediums probably looking at a 1 stop strategy.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo gets past Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin to make his way up to the points-paying position after starting 16th.
Top 10: BOT HAM VER PER NOR SAI LEC OCO GAS RIC
HAMILTON BACK INTO SECOND RACE
What a scrap! Turn 14 mistake from Verstappen gave Hamilton the DRS on the start finish straight, he sweeps past Verstappen on the inside into T1.
“Just a sitting duck on the straight, it’s unbelievable” – Verstappen yields second place after he slips out of DRS range.
“Attaboy” Verstappen told after sweeping past Hamilton on the SC restart.
Top three seperated by less than a second…DRS enabled – once again, GAME ON
Verstappen is hunting down Bottas for the lead.
Fantastic restart from Valtteri Bottas who waited until the very last minute to launch.
All the way round the outside of turn one, and Verstappen takes second place from Hamitlon. Full commitment from the Dutchman.
BOT, VER, HAM, NOR, PER
“To confirm we still think plan A” Lando Norris told on the radio – on the softs right now.
“Keep an eye on the brakes” says Hamilton – “Copy, nothing to worry about,” is the reply.
SC in this lap.
Bottas told his rear brakes are ‘very hot’ with a little bloom of smoke – Bottas now trying to speed up under SC to get more air flow through the breaks.
Debris on the track too – Hamilton warned it’ll be on the left of the start/finish straight – the racing line.
Relatively clean start to the race, Bottas has a fantastic launch off the line, Hamilton slots in behind with Verstappen still third.
The order remains
BOT, HAM, VER
Kimi Raikkonen is in the gravel at the first corner after losing his front wing after driving into the back of his team-mate. Messy from the Finn.
FULL Saftey Car now out.
Formation lap getting underway, tyre warmers removed, just the cars and the drivers left on the grid.
Max Verstappen has never led the driver’s standings in his entire F1 career, Lewis Hamilton meanwhile has won the past three races starting from second place.
Nico Rosberg is having his say on Sky Sports F1 today. Speaking of the launch from Max Verstappen last time out in Imola, Rosberg replied:“Behind closed doors, Lewis Hamilton is not cordial, Lewis Hamilton is angry.”
And when asked if that was just specific to him as a former team-mate, Rosberg added: “Max is also the kind of guy, you really hate to be beaten by Max Verstappen because he’ll really rub it in you know.
“So don’t worry, the intensity is there in exactly the same way [when you’re not Hamilton’s team-mate]”
Dry race ahead- not long until lights out now.
Sky Sports F1 now chatting with Toto Wolff with his drivers locking out the front row.
However – Nico Rosberg, chatting with his old boss, asked Wolff what he was speaking to Russell about…
He replied: “We were having a bit of a laugh about recent events. I got quite some criticism, I mean Nico [Rosberg] criticised me, that I shouldn’t have gone so hard but we’ve known each other for such a long time, we are in a good place with George.
“It’s about learning from the mistakes, it was a good chat.”
And Rosberg pipped up to say “I just remembered how painful it was for me when you criticised me publicly back in the way, so that’s why I just wanted to convey my message to maybe go a bit easy on George.”
“But it made you a better person, no?” replied Wolff. “You made me into a world champion, so it was all good,” replied Rosberg.
George Russell spotted chatting with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, I doubt it was about anything hugely exciting, but the TV deemed it worthy of showing.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports F1 have been chatting to McLaren CEO Zak Brown with Lando Norris starting P7 and Daniel Ricciardo idown in P16.
Brown says he told Ricciardo not to try not to “be a hero” on lap one, and that it’s a slow and steady fight – but that he’s “awesome” and “still has to get used to the car.”
Lando meanwhile is “very quick” and “very in control and predicts a top 5 finish for the Brit.
The calm before the storm. The drivers start suiting, booting and climbing into the car to make their way to the grid.
So here’s a lowdown of the track
Circuit length: 4.653km
No laps: 66
Lap record: 1:18.750s Lewis Hamilton, 2020
Sergio Perez is told on the radio: “Wind is looking notably lower than yesterday.”
Air temp: 19C/66F
Track Temp: 39C/102F
2pm – an hour to go until lights out
Hello and welcome to Express Sport’s live blog of the Portuguese Grand Prix happening live in Portimao!
Valtteri Bottas is the man who took a shock pole position ahead of the race, as Max Verstappen’s fastest lap, which would’ve been enough for pole, was deleted on Saturday.
After the session Verstappen said:
“Qualifying was very difficult to drive, I was struggling a lot with the grip.
“That first lap in Q3 was decent, but I just had a big moment at 4, so went a little bit off track, but I was quite confident we could do another good lap, but in the last sector there was a car in front, in the last two corners it just disturbs you.
“Especially with the low grip we already have, and the tough wind out here, basically it cost me a lot of lap time, but it is what it is.
“Hopefully everything stabilises a bit more because up until now, it’s not been a lot of fun to drive here.”
Meanwhile Hamilton was perplexed by his performance too – but with just a point seperating the two, expect fireworks off the line at 3pm!!
Full Grid: 1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 6. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) 7. Lando Norris (McLaren) 8. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 9. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) 10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) 11. George Russell (Williams) 12. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) 13. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) 14. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) 15. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) 16. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) 10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) 18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) 19. Mick Schumacher (Haas) 20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)