26 Oct 2020

RECORD BREAKER HAMILTON WINS IN PORTIMAO

Lewis Hamilton was imperious in Portimao where he racked up his 92nd Formula 1 career victory to wins the Portuguese Grand Prix and break the record set by Michael Schumacher for the most wins in Formula 1 history. It had seemed inevitable for some time and that it was only a matter of when rather than if it would happen.

Crossing the line a massive 25 seconds ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas was a fitting demonstration of the British driver’s dominance over both his teammate and the rest of the field, especially considering he was running in third place at one point after a slow start to the race. His fellow driver were quick hail his achievement with Max Verstappen probably being the most insightful by pin pointing his consistency as one of the keys to his success.

It also provided a fitting moment for his father Anthony Hamilton to see is son achieve his dream, having sacrificed so much to fund the 6 times world champions early career.

In an interview after his record-breaking race, Hamilton said: ‘I felt I was getting faster through the race but I had to keep up the pace for these tyres and that was really the key.’ And it really did feel that way whilst watching him.

Much further down the grid there was some controversy following the race after an incident involving Lance Stroll and Lando Norris on lap 18. Stroll turned into the Mclaren after all but completing a passing move resulting in a 5 second time penalty for the Canadian who later retired from the race.

The damage caused to Norris’ car meant a forced pitstop which ruined his race, and he battled back to a disappointing P13. After the race Norris said: ‘I don’t know what he was doing really’ ‘I was easily halfway alongside, and he just turns in.’ Also commenting that in future he would simply have to ‘stay away.’

There were two more good performances from Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc finishing third and fourth respectively continuing to solidify themselves as the shining lights of their teams.

It is always a question in the back of my mind what either of these drivers could achieve in a car of the same standard as the Mercedes and whether they could rival the brilliance of Hamilton with equal equipment. On closer examination you realise it’s more than raw speed though. Hamilton’s ability to maintain relentless blistering pace, while managing his tyres, and then stepping up a further personal gear that few other driver seem to have is ultimately what sets him apart.

Further down the order, it was once again a good finish for Pierre Gasly who has consistently outplaced teammate Daniil Kvyat in the AlphaTauri. Achieving a P5 finish among a midfield including the like of Ricciardo, Sainz, and Perez all in arguably quicker cars is no easy task and so ito hats off to the Frenchman for proving in Portugal that Monza was no fluke.

It was a stark contrast between Hamilton’s mood and that of Sebastian Vettel. Who would have thought 5 years ago that things could go so wrong for Vettel in his hunger to win a 5th world title. His disappointing finish where he was again outclassed by his teammate seemed to be the perfect footnote to his time at Ferrari even with 5 races still to run this season. Rumors that the two Ferrari drivers are not given equally performing cars were quickly denied by Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto who said: ‘Seb and Charles’ cars are identical, no doubt.’

If there is no difference between the cars it is difficult to find an answer as to why the four-time World Champion is so off the boil and leaves some question marks over his legitimacy as a replacement for Sergio Perez over at Racing Point.

So the teams pack up and sprint across Europe for next weekends round 13 at Imola we at JDC have one request for Formula 1; please put Portimao go back their soon. It delivered fantastic racing and deserves its place on the regular season calendar.

JDC is looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Formula 1 in 2021 for what is expected to be a very exciting and closely run season. If you’d like to experience any of the races on the 2021 calendar, then take a look at our Paddock Club™ hospitality packages or contact JDC Promotions and let us build a bespoke package for you and your guests.

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ccooper

Formula 1 Correspondent