An exciting comeback to Portugal for the Formula 1 Championship, and a step forward in the 2020 points tally for Scuderia Ferrari: here's what went down in Portimao.
Chaos at the start
As soon as the lights go out, the action heats up in Algarve: as Verstappen and Perez collide, Bottas and Sainz make their way through and snatch Hamilton's lead one after the other. Norris is also on the charge, as Leclerc slides to P8, while Perez limps back into the pits. As the medium tyres start finding speed and pace, Hamilton is able to get back into the lead, as Leclerc and Vettel progress through the ranks again.
While weather conditions initially seem to deteriorate, the little rain that falls is not enough to prompt a change in tyre strategy. Lance Stroll is once again involved in a nasty tangle, for the second time this weekend. Lando Norris is thankfully able to continue, as the Canadian driver racks up a 5-second time penalty.
At the halfway mark of this 66-lap race, teams prove diverse in their strategy choice, with some explicitly risking a one-stopper with the Hard tyre. In this phase, Leclerc is able to go up to P3, whiel vettel struggles on quickly degrading Medium tyres, while Perez is in for an outstanding remuntada from last to P5. The Monegasque, however, quickly has to concede the podium position to Verstappen, as the intervals between the top three grow bigger and bigger.
In the meantime, former teammates Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel once again face off for the last points-giving position (with Vettel prevailing), as Alex Albon struggles to prove his case against his teammate, sitting lonely in P12. Track limits continue to be a huge issue in Portimao, as seen during Free Practice and Qualifying: both Grosjean and Kvyat collect a 5-second time penalty for this very reason.
The battle for P5 gets heated up, as Perez is threatened by Gasly, on fresher tyres and again on a roll, with the French snatching the position on the second to last lap. The result, however, could change after the race, as a contact between the two is set to be investigated.It's once again a Mercedes 1-2, but both Scuderia Ferrari cars are in the points, thus regaining some momentum in the Constructors' Championship.
Written by Aurora Dell'Agli