2021 Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix Preview

This weekend is set to see Formula 1 return to Portimão for the latest round of the 2021 season.

Lewis Hamilton enters the third round of the season still leading the Drivers’ Championship. His advantage over second placed Max Verstappen is only one point, thanks to the Briton claiming the point for fastest lap last time out in Imola.

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Completing the top three in the championship is Lando Norris who followed up his fourth place finish in the season opener with a third place finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The Briton is 16 points behind Verstappen and seven ahead of fourth placed Charles Leclerc.

Valtteri Bottas starts the weekend fifth in the championship, four points behind Leclerc and two ahead of Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo. This after Bottas was involved in an accident with George Russell which forced both into retirement at Imola.

Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, is eighth in the championship after failing to score any points in Imola. Perez is four points behind Sainz and Ricciardo and has a four point advantage over Pierre Gasly in ninth. Despite failing to finish inside the top ten at Imola, Perez did impress during qualifying where he outqualified Verstappen and lined up second.

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In the Constructors’ Championship Mercedes continues to lead but now has a seven point advantage over nearest rival Red Bull.

McLaren completes the top three in the championship, is 12 points behind Red Bull and has a seven point advantage over Ferrari who are fourth. There is then a 26 point gap between Ferrari and fifth placed AlphaTauri.

AlphaTauri has a three point advantage over Aston Martin in sixth with Alpine five points behind the Faenza based team. Alpine became the latest team to score points in 2021 after they secured a 9-10 finish in the previous round. It therefore means that only three teams, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas, are yet to score points this season.

Alfa Romeo C39 / Kimi Raikkonen / FIN / Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN” by Artes Max is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The 2020 edition of the Portuguese Grand Prix was won by Lewis Hamilton who also went on to claim pole position and the fastest lap. Completing the top three in the race was Bottas and Verstappen.

It will be interesting to see what unfolds this weekend. The 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix was held in late October, compared to early May this year which will no doubt have an impact on track and air temperature, assuming it stays dry.

There is also the intrigue of seeing how Bottas and Perez bounce back from what were ultimately disappointing races in Imola, as well as seeing how the rest of the field get on.

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