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Formula 1

The winners and losers from the Portuguese Grand Prix

by Matt Beer
5 min read

Lewis Hamilton will take all the headlines after Formula 1’s return to Portugal after smashing Michael Schumacher’s all-time win record just 14 days after equalling it.

Other big winners included AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly who yet again delivered a stand-out performance to prove his F1 future looks brighter than ever – while his Red Bull replacement Alex Albon languished down the order once more and makes another appearance in the less desirable portion of our regular post-race feature.


Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 2020

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton’s 92nd wasn’t the toughest or most swashbuckling win of his career but it was hard-earned after losing the lead early on, coming under pressure from the soft-shod midfield teams and losing some ground to Valtteri Bottas as he got up to speed.

But Hamilton had pace Bottas could not match, especially as the long medium-tyre stint wore on, which is why those early difficulties transformed into a commanding victory.

That means Hamilton broke Michael Schumacher’s win record, and can now be champion in two races’ time. He’s a big winner from today. – Scott Mitchell

Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1 2020

Charles Leclerc

This was a superb performance based upon that wonderful qualifying lap yesterday.

It’s a great fillip for the Ferrari team after its disastrous fall from grace this season. Leclerc was even able to use his offset tyre strategy against Verstappen to keep the Red Bull under pressure for third for a while. After it became clear that was no longer on offer, he just brought it home.

This was by far Ferrari’s most convincing race performance of the season even if they have scored better results. Leclerc was very much at the heart of it. – Mark Hughes

Pierre Gasly F1 2020

Pierre Gasly

Gasly was punching above AlphaTauri’s weight here. His strong fifth place, undeterred by the late and super-robust defence by Sergio Perez, was based upon a super first stint on the softs, on which he kept up a great pace without destroying them.

It’s just further confirmation that he can now be relied upon to deliver top-class performances pretty much every time out. It seems unjust that he’s apparently not about to be re-promoted within the Red Bull group. – MH

Sergio Perez Racing Point F1 2020

Sergio Perez

Considering Perez was facing the wrong way and up against the wall after a clash with Verstappen on the first lap, to come through to seventh place represented a good comeback for him.

While he did slip from fifth to seventh late on while struggling on softs, he still did a good enough damage limitation job to keep Racing Point in the all-important third place in the constructors’ championship – just. – Edd Straw

Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo F1 2020

Kimi Raikkonen

We could probably write Raikkonen’s post-race quotes for him. “P11 or P20. It doesn’t matter if you don’t score points. Means nothing to me.”

Come on, fake Kimi! Lighten up. That was a great P11.

Raikkonen’s first lap (find it on Twitter!) was a joy to behold as he carved through the order while others scrabbled for grip. And he had some lovely wheel-to-wheel fights with Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel thereafter.

The Alfa Romeo’s becoming a tidy little car, all things concerned, and while it’s not a top-10 contender on merit, it’s capable of having a decent crack when Raikkonen’s in this mood. – SM

Esteban Ocon F1 2020

Esteban Ocon

While the softs he switched onto late in the race after a superb marathon first stint didn’t give him the pace he needed to go on the attack, eighth place and ahead of Daniel Ricciardo was a decent reward for his recent progress and ensured he made a good contribution to Renault’s push to improve on fifth in the constructors’ standing. – ES

Lance Stroll Racing Point F1 2020


Lance Stroll

Missing that one race with COVID certainly didn’t seem to help Lance here. Perhaps he was still suffering the after-effects of the virus, but at no stage of the weekend did he look anything like in the pace of team-mate Perez.

He was off the pace all weekend, his practice collision with Verstappen can be put down to just one of those things but his repeated track limits breaches just added to the impression of a driver not fully on top of his game. – MH

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Portuguese Grand Prix Qualifying Day Portimao, Portugal

Racing Point

Despite what team boss Otmar Szafnauer told Sky F1 during the race, Perez wasn’t attacked by Verstappen on the opening lap. And Lance Stroll’s race-wrecking contact with Lando Norris wasn’t a racing incident.

Both drivers played a part in their respective downfalls (Stroll more than Perez) and so this turned into another disappointing Sunday for Racing Point, with potential unfulfilled once more.

This should have been a good haul, and it wasn’t. We could consider the team’s fortune in retaining its third place in the constructors’ championship as a reason to make a ‘winner’ of sorts – but that would gloss over the reality, which is that it risks counting the cost of so many lost points on days like this. – SM

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Portuguese Grand Prix Race Day Portimao, Portugal

Alex Albon

With team principal Christian Horner calling on Albon to ‘justify’ his place in the team with strong weekends in Portugal and next time out at Imola, what he didn’t need was 12th place.

Having bounced around the lower points positions in the difficult early stages of the race after slipping back from his sixth-place starting position, his first stop was too early and he ended up on a two-strop strategy that netted him nothing. – ES

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