Portuguese Grand Prix – Race


BOT was fastest in FP1, FP2, FP3, Q2… but HAM was quickest when it mattered, taking his 97th pole. [Quali notes]

Provisional grid: HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, PER, ALB, SAI, NOR, GAS, RIC, OCO, STR, KVY, RUS, VET, RAI, GIO, GRO, MAG, LAT

The forecast says there’s a 40% chance of rain in the second half of the race – the track was resurfaced about a month ago so it’s still oily, which means rain could cause some big upsets

There’s been minimal running at Portimao so the teams don’t have as much data as usual – will it be a 1-stop or 2-stop race?
VET: “A track we haven’t raced before, so racing into the unknown and that is where our chance will be. It’s a cool track.”
NOR: “Turn 1 is a place where you have to take some risks, try and gain a couple of positions as it is a big opportunity. It’s going to be a bit of a free for all!”

Pit exit lights turn green so cars can now head to the grid
They can’t do a practice start at pit out because it’s been deemed too tight to do that safely

It’s looking overcast – maybe the rain won’t wait until the second half of the race; it’s quite gusty too

On the out lap, HAM locks up, describes it as “super tricky”, and VET runs wide in Turn 14, says “It’s like on ice – difficult to get the tyres to work.”

Pre-race protocols: end racism, nation anthem, fly past; time to jump in the cars

The top 10 will start on the soft tyres they used in Q2, except HAM, BOT and LEC will start on their mediums
Further down the grid, they’re all on mediums except MAG (P19) on hards, and RAI (P16) on softs

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
Radio from GAS reporting drops of rain; SAI says the same

01/66: HAM leads into Turn 1
VER ahead of BOT but BOT fights back, pushes VER wide
BOT takes P1
VER rejoins, spins PER around
There’s rain on the camera
SAI takes P3 from VER … and now he’s P2 ahead of HAM

02: BOT, SAI, HAM, NOR, VER
SAI passes BOT to take P1

03: SAI fastest lap 1:25.117
HAM closing up on BOT

04: SAI f/lap 1:23.466
HAM has DRS behind BOT
VER also has DRS behind NOR

05/66: SAI, BOT, HAM, NOR, VER
BOT 1:23.195
VER takes P4
Replay of lap 1 shows VER tap PER when he rejoined the track after BOT pushed him wide

06: SAI reclaims P1 from SAI

07: HAM takes P2 from SAI
VER closing on SAI now
LEC closing on RAI

08: SAI uses DRS to pass SAI for P3
LEC takes P6 from RAI

09: BOT f/lap 1:21.642
LEC lining up NOR… takes P5

10/66: BOT, HAM, VER, SAI, LEC, NOR, RIC, RAI, GAS, STR, ALB, OCO, RUS, GIO, VET, KVY, GRO, LAT, MAG, PER
GAS P8
Black and white flag for STR for repeatedly exceeding track limits

11: GAS takes P7 from RIC

12: BOT has 1.9sec lead over HAM, who in turn is 4.8sec ahead of VER
RAI pits, switches from soft to medium tyres

13: Radio from VER, “left front is dead”
STR takes P8 from RIC

14: Radio for BOT, “wind picking up”

15/66: BOT, HAM, VER, LEC, SAI, GAS, NOR, STR, OCO, ALB
Radio from HAM, “left front doesn’t feel that great”

16: HAM f/lap 1:21.421
STR closes on NOR

17: HAM f/lap 1:21.366
GAS looking for a way round SAI

18: STR almost runs into the rear of NOR, they collide, STR spins and breaks his front wing
NOR reports his wing’s broken too

19: HAM under BOT’s rear wing
NOR and STR pit; the incident is under investigation

20/66: HAM lines up BOT and takes P1 from his teammate
ALB pits; mediums go on; rejoins P18

21: GAS takes P5 from SAI

23: PER takes P10 from GIO

24: VER pits from P3; mediums go on; rejoins P6
STR given 5sec penalty for causing collision with NOR

25/66: HAM, BOT, LEC, GAS, SAI, VER, OCO, VET, RUS, PER, KVY, GIO, GRO, MAG, LAT, RIC, RAI, ALB, NOR, STR
HAM f/lap 1:21.023

27: SAI pits from P5; rejoins P14

28: VET pits from P7; hard tyres go on; rejoins P15

29: GAS, GIO pit

30/66: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER, OCO, PER, RUS, GAS, RIC, RAI, MAG, SAI, ALB, VET, NOR, GIO, GRO, KVY, LAT, STR
HAM f/lap 1:20.537
Black and white flag for GRO for exceeding track limits

31: RIC takes P8 from GAS
STR given 5sec penalty for exceeding track limits, so now he has 10sec penalty in total

32: VET (P14) has been lapped

33: SAI attacking RAI for P10
SAI passes but he was off the track, so has to let RAI reclaim P10
SAI dives inside but RAI cuts back and keeps P10
SAI gets DRS and makes the pass stick

34: Blue flags for SAI & RAI to let HAM lap them

35/66: HAM, BOT, LEC, VER … LEC pits

36: HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, PER, OCO, RUS, RIC, GAS, SAI, RAI, ALB, VET, NOR, GIO, GRO, KVY, LAT, MAG, STR
STR pits and serves his 2*5sec penalties

37: HAM has ~8sec lead over BOT, who in turn has ~40sec gap to VER

38: BOT warned that he’ll get a black and white flag if he exceeds track limits again
Everyone except HAM and BOT has pitted
HAM has lapped RIC (P7)

40/66: HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, PER, OCO, RIC, GAS, SAI, RAI, ALB, VET, NOR, GIO, RUS, GRO, KVY, MAG, LAT, STR
Radio for HAM, “box, box”

41: HAM pits; hard tyres go on; rejoins P2
Radio for BOT telling him HAM is on hard tyre; “maybe we go soft”

42: BOT pits; hard tyres go on; rejoins in the middle of the GIO/RUS battle
GRO given 5sec penalty for exceeding track limits
BOT slithering around on the new tyres

43: Radio for NOR, “100% pace; we have a slow puncture”; “I am at 100% pace”

45/66: HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, PER, OCO, RIC, GAS, SAI, RAI
HAM f/lap 1:20.495
Radio for ALB, “might be some light drops in a few minutes”
GAS inside RIC to steal P7

46: HAM f/lap 1:20.467
KVY under investigation for ignoring blue flags
PER pits, 2nd stop

47: HAM f/lap 1:20.366

48: BOT f/lap 1:19.922

50/66: HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, OCO, PER, GAS, SAI, RIC, RAI, VET, ALB, GIO, RUS, KVY, GRO, NOR, MAG, LAT, STR
RUS tucked up behind GIO’s rear wing, loses downforce but catches it
Race control: no further action for KVY

52: ALB has pitted, now on softs and behind teammate VER although they’re a lap apart

53: Big lock up for VET, flat spots his front right tyre
Sky commentators talking about OCO not having pitted but official FIA timing app shows he’s stopped twice
Black and white flag for LAT for exceeding track limits

54: OCO pits from P5, soft tyres go on, rejoins P8
FIA now says OCO has stopped once
STR pits, retires the Racing Point

55/66: HAM 15sec ahead of BOT; BOT 10sec ahead of VER
KVY given 5sec penalty for exceeding track limits

56: Black and white flag for NOR for exceeding track limits
Radio from RUS saying the wind has picked up

57: HAM f/lap 1:19.502
Radio from VER asking for confirmation that it’s gusty

58: RAI closing on VET, who in turn is closing on RIC
Radio from HAM, “I’ve got a cramp”

59: HAM laps PER (P5)
NOR attacking RUS, takes P13

60/66: HAM, BOT, VER, LEC, PER, GAS, SAI, OCO, RIC, VET, RAI, ALB, NOR, RUS, GIO, GRO, MAG, LAT, KVY; out: STR

62: HAM f/lap 1:18.966
Radio for SAI, “light rain in pit lane”

63: VER asks “what’s the fastest lap?”

64: HAM f/lap 1:18.750
GAS attacking PER but PER keeps P5

65/66: GAS attacking again; makes it stick this time
SAI now catching PER

66 = final lap: SAI closing on PER; SAI has DRS and easily takes P6
Incident involving PER and GAS will be investigated after the race

HAM takes the chequered flag – his 92nd victory, beating Michael Schumacher’s record

Interviews:
HAM: “Today was tough, it was all about temperature today and it was something I was able to do with the set up I created. I could only have ever dreamed about where I would be today. I’m proud to make the most of it every single day.”
BOT: “The opening lap was pretty good, I was pleased to get the lead. After that I had no pace today, I don’t understand why. No pace. I tried to defend but there was nothing really to do.”
VER: “It was very low grip, I tried to stay out of trouble. It was raining a little bit and just tried to keep the car on track and did my own race. Overall I think we finished where we deserved.”
Toto Wolff: “It’s his absolute passion, energy, everything that he puts into the sport. The talent, ability, he just stands out.”

Provisional result: HAM*, BOT, VER, LEC, GAS, SAI, PER, OCO, RIC, VET; RAI, ALB, NOR, RUS, GIO, MAG, GRO, LAT, KVY
DNF: STR
*HAM fastest lap

[2020 calendar] [2020 line-up]