After a week off, Formula 1 returns to the grid for the Portuguese Grand Prix at Algarve International Circuit. It is the first time an F1 race will be run at the track since 1996 when Canadian rookie Jacques Villeneuve won the race for Williams Racing.
Lewis Hamilton starts on the pole after an incredible run which saw him overtake Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on the final turn during Q3. It is the 97th career pole for Hamilton as he attempts to pick up win 92 in F1, which would break Michael Schumacher’s record for race wins. On top of this, he is cruising his way to a seventh championship. Hamilton stands 69 points ahead of Bottas in the driver standings with seven race wins and nine podiums this season.
Bottas, who picked up his first DNF of the season two weeks ago in the Eifel Grand Prix, will start second. He is second in the driver’s standings, sitting 14 points ahead of Max Verstappen with two race wins and eight podiums.
Verstappen will start third.
Charles Leclerc has struggled in 2020 after a breakout first season with Ferrari. He scored two race wins, had an average finish of 5.6, and landed on the podium 10 times in 2019. This season, he has no wins, has only been on the podium twice, and has an average finish of 10.2. He finished 2019 fourth in the standings and is eighth in 2020. However, he is starting fourth in Sunday’s race.
Sergio Perez will start fifth and Alexander Albon, who has one podium this season, will start sixth as his future remains up in the air with Red Bull.
The two McLaren drivers, Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris will start seventh and eighth. McLaren is locked in a three-way battle with Racing Point and Renault for third in the Constructor’s standings. McLaren is at 116 with Racing Point at 120 and Renault at 114.
The two Renault drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, will start 10th and 11th behind Pierre Gasly, who will start ninth. Ricciardo finished third at Nürburgring, his first podium since his victory at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix. Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, who returns after missing the Eifel Grand Prix due to an illness, will start 12th.
If you are watching in the United States, coverage for the Portuguese Grand Prix will begin at 9:00 a.m. EST. You can catch the race on ESPN2.