Lewis Hamilton wrestled his way to victory at the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix in what is lining up to be a heavyweight contest with Max Verstappen. Teammate Valtteri Bottas did his best to dissuade Hamilton by starting the race in pole position with arch and most realistic rival Max Verstappen in third. While the race got off to a frenetic start the safety car was deployed on lap 2 to clear debris after Kimi Raikkonen collided with his teammate on the pit straight. On the rolling restart, Hamilton lost out to Verstappen on lap 7. The Mercedes driver then set about trying to derail Verstappen. On lap 10 he had his chance as the Red Bull momentarily snatched into oversteer on the exit of turn 14 which leads onto the main straight.
This was Hamilton’s chance, with DRS enabled Hamilton closed in on the main straight and used the inside line going into turn 1 to sweep back into the second position. Verstappen’s oversteer moment overcooked his tyres and the Red Bull couldn’t maintain enough pace to keep up with the Mercedes in front. Hamilton then set about going after Valtteri Bottas who was struggling for speed on a low grip track.
After hounding Bottas Hamilton finally found a way past on lap 20 with a daring overtake using the outside line going into turn 1. Bottas defended as best he could but he simply couldn’t find the lap times Hamilton was generating and conceded to the inevitable. From this point on Hamilton took control of the race. While Mercedes secured a double podium finish Bottas fell down to third.
After struggling for grip on cold tyres just after making his pitstop Bottas fell victim to Verstappen. Towards the end of the race and with Hamilton all but victorious, Mercedes and Red Bull decided to chance for the extra point awarded for setting the fastest lap. Verstappen’s fastest lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits, the point was thus awarded to Bottas.
Because Red Bull and Mercedes are closely matched this year, with Red bull holding the advantage, the 2021 championship will be decided by the smallest of margins. Whoever makes the least mistakes on a per race basis will win the driver’s title.
2021 Portuguese Grand Prix Results:
|2||33||Red Bull Racing Honda||66||+29.148s||18|
|4||11||Red Bull Racing Honda||66||+39.735s||12|
|12||99||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||65||+1 lap||0|
|13||5||Aston Martin Mercedes||65||+1 lap||0|
|14||18||Aston Martin Mercedes||65||+1 lap||0|
|15||22||AlphaTauri Honda||65||+1 lap||0|
|16||63||Williams Mercedes||65||+1 lap||0|
|17||47||Haas Ferrari||64||+2 laps||0|
|18||6||Williams Mercedes||64||+2 laps||0|
|19||9||Haas Ferrari||64||+2 laps||0|
|NC||7||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1||DNF||0|
Lewis Hamilton wrestled his way to victory at the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix in what is lining up to be a heavyweight contest with Max Verstappen.