2020 Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix Preview

Formula 1 is set to return to action this weekend as it contests the Portuguese Grand Prix for the first time since 1996.

Lewis Hamilton heads into the latest round of the season with a 69 point lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s 91 race victories last time out while Bottas ultimately ended up retiring from the Eifel Grand Prix, his first retirement of the season.

Behind the two Mercedes drivers in the championship is the Red Bull of Max Verstappen who goes to Portimao off the back of his eighth podium finish of the season. The Dutchman is 14 points behind Bottas and has a 69 point gap over fourth placed Daniel Ricciardo.

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Ricciardo has a ten point advantage over nearest rival Sergio Perez, the Australian having claimed his first podium finish for Renault last time out. Ricciardo has also finished inside the top six in the five races prior to this weekend. Perez meanwhile challenged Ricciardo for the final place on the podium at the Nurburgring but ultimately had to settle for fourth, his sixth top six finish of the season.

Lando Norris is sixth in the championship and is only three points behind Perez and therefore 13 behind Ricciardo despite failing to finish in the Eifel Grand Prix, the Briton’s first classifed retirement of the season. Norris has a one point advantage over Alexander Albon who was also forced into retirement last time out.

Charles Leclerc is one point behind Albon, two behind Norris and five behind Perez after the Ferrari driver finished seventh at the Nurburgring. It was the Monegasque driver’s third consecutive points finish. Leclerc has a six point advantage over Lance Stroll in ninth who was forced to withdraw from the Eifel Grand Prix due to illness.

#16 Charles Leclerc” by Takayuki Suzuki is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

It means the Canadian has a four point advantage over Pierre Gasly who claimed his seventh points finish of the season last time out. The Frenchman has a two point advantage over Carlos Sainz going into the weekend, the McLaren driver bringing an end to a short run of retirements.

There is a 15 point gap between Sainz and Esteban Ocon in the championship with a 19 point gap between the Renault driver and Sebastian Vettel. Three points behind the German is Daniil Kvyat whose three race point scoring run came to an end at the Nurburgring in part due to having his front wing taken off when racing Albon.

In the Constructors’ Championship Mercedes leads Red Bull by 180 points. The most interesting battle in the Constructors’ is that for third. Racing Point are currently in that position and have a four point advantage over McLaren in fourth heading into the race weekend. Two points behind the Woking based team, and six behind Racing Point, are Renault.

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Ferrari are sixth in the Constructors’ Championship and are 40 points behind Racing Point. The Maranello based team are 34 points behind sixth placed Renault going to Portimao. Ferrari may be more concerned with AlphaTauri who are directly behind them in the championship with 13 points separating the two.

There is then a 62 point gap between AlphaTauri and the next team in the championship, Alfa Romeo Racing. The Swiss based team claimed their third points finish of the season at the Nurburgring and have a two point advantage over Haas. The American team also scored points last time out, their first finish inside the top ten since the third round of the season in Hungary. Three points behind Haas are Williams who have yet to score points in 2020 but have come close on three occasions, most recently at the Tuscan Grand Prix with George Russell.

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