The Algarve International Circuit Portimao (Opened 2008)
- 2.89 miles
- 15 Turns
- 66 Laps
- Pit delta: 24s
- Fastest Pit Stop: Alex Albon / Red Bull @ 1.8s
- Fastest Lap: 1:18.7 (Lewis Hamilton / MB)
- Lewis Hamilton/Mercedes
- Valtteri Bottas/Mercedes
- Max Verstappen/Red Bull
Formula 1 returned to Portugal after a multi-year absence. Once again this GP featured a mix of cold temps, a Mercedes front row lockout, again a 3rd place start for Max Verstappen and Red Bull, and a forecast calling for rain on a track that was only re-surfaced a month ago. Wind gusts up to 15mph seemed to aid overtaking on the main straight. The race wasn’t the only source of excitement. Friday, Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri had a fire in qualifying earlier in the week, and had to use a new chassis for the race. On Thursday Haas announced that Kevin Magnussen (Indy Car?) and Romain Grosjean (Formula-E?) would be replaced for the 2021 season.
- Lap 1: On a wild opening lap, Max Verstappen overtakes Valtteri Bottas to claim 2nd position, but it would be short lived as Bottas forces the issue and regains his spot. That might have been too much to take a Verstappen clips Sergio Perez on the exit of the 3rd corner and momentarily provides the Racing Point with a bit of air (Race Control noted the incident – no further investigation warranted). Yellow Flag follows. A light rain starts shortly afterwards.
- Lap 1+: Also on the same crazy opening lap Lewis Hamilton’s car has an issue and falls to the 3rd position while Carlos Sainz overtake Bottas for the lead position.
- Lap 18: In the battle for 7th, Lance Stroll attempts an aggressive overtake (over the curb then into the turn) of Lando Norris. Stroll wasn’t able to make it stick, spins out, but not before clipping Norris’ front wing (Race Control: 5 second Time Penalty to Stroll). Lance loses two places as a result, and Norris pits. Possibly the makings of a bad day for Racing Point. One of its own making (Stroll), and one unexpected (Perez).
- Lap 20: Hamilton manages an overtake of Bottas to retake the lead.
- Lap 21: Rain reported again (Sainz).
- Lap 31: Lance Stroll receives his 2nd Time Penalty, this time for exceeding track limits (5 Seconds).
- Lap 35: Remember Sergio Perez? Some thought that Perez’ day was done after being clipped by Verstappen in a Racing Incident on the opening lap. Spoiler Alert, not so much! Perez fights up to 5th position after some very hard clean racing with Esteban Ocon having to concedes the spot.
- Lap 42: Romain Grosjean serves a 5 second Time Penalty for exceeding track limits.
- Lap 46: Daniil Kvyat issued a Time Penalty (+5 seconds) for ignoring Blue Flags (Exceeding 3 instances).
- Lap 53: Lance Stroll of Racing Point retires (damage to the floor), and Nicolas Latifi of Williams Racing receives Black & White flag for exceeding track limits.
- Lap 56: Lando Norris of McLaren receives Black & White flag for exceeding track limits.
- Lap 57: George Russel of Williams and Max Verstappen of Red Bull complain of wind gusts.
- Lap 66: Race Control to investigate after the race the incident involving Gasly and Perez at Turn 1.
- With this GP win Lewis Hamilton surpasses Michael Schumaker’s record (91) with 92 wins.