Photo via Peter Fox
For the first time since 1996, Formula 1 ran at Algarve International Circuit for the Portuguese Grand Prix. It was a historic day for F1 as Lewis Hamilton won the race, picking up win 92 as he passed Michael Schumacher for most wins in F1 history.
The start of the race, which was affected by rain, saw Sergio Perez move in second place but he contacted Max Verstappen, vaulting him toward the back of the pack. The two McLaren drivers, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, jumped into the top five. Sainz jumped ahead of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, led the first six laps. Kimi Raikkonen jumped into sixth place after starting 16th. On lap six, Bottas passed Sainz for first and two laps later, Hamilton and Verstappen passed him into the top three.
Charles Leclerc, who started fourth, passed the McLarens for fourth place. Pierre Gasly was able to get up to sixth place before pit stops started occurring. Verstappen was losing ground on the two Mercedes drivers as his soft tires were quickly losing effectiveness.
Racing Point’s struggles continued as Stroll spun off the track after he tried to pass Norris for seventh place. Norris needed a 10 second pit stop for the pit crew to adjust his car after the incident while Stroll was given a five-second time penalty. He was given another five-second penalty on lap 31 for exceeding track limits.
On lap 20, Hamilton used DRS to get past Bottas into the lead. Gasly continued his strong day as he passed Sainz for fifth place one lap later.
Perez worked his way through the field, passing Esteban Ocon for fifth place after a back-and-forth battle. Stroll retired from the race on lap 54, the third straight DNF for him and has not finished a race since his third-place finish at Monza.
On lap 65, Gasly passed Perez for fifth and on the final lap, Sainz passed Perez for sixth.
Hamilton pulled away to win over Bottas by over 20 seconds, giving him the sole lead in career F1 wins over Schumacher. He had the fastest lap of the race, adding another point to his championship lead.
Bottas finished second and Verstappen finished third, the seventh time this season Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen shared the podium.
Leclerc finished fourth, his best finish since the 70th anniversary Grand Prix. Gasly finished fifth followed by Sainz.
Perez finished seventh after crashing on the first lap. The Renaults, Ocon and Ricciardo, finished eighth and ninth.
Sebastian Vettel started 15th and finished 10th, gaining a point for only the second time in the last six races.
Formula 1 will return to Italy once again for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix next Sunday.