Lewis Hamilton took a convincing victory in the FIA Formula 1 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix to score his 92nd career win and make history by surpassing Michael Schumacher’s previous all-time win record.
When the lights went out for the race start Hamilton made a good getaway and took the lead into Turn 1. Behind him Red Bull’s Max Verstappen also made a good start from the clean side of the track to put pressure on the P2 Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
Bottas fought back, however, and as the pair went through Turn 1, Verstappen was forced wide as the Finn held an aggressive line. That allowed Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez to attack the Red Bull but as the pair battled there was contact and Pérez was bounced off track. Verstappen, though, was able to continue though he dropped to P5 behind the fast-starting McLaren of Carlos Sainz and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Ahead, Hamilton locked up into Turn 5 and slide and Bottas seized the opportunity to steal the lead through the following corners. However, with the medium tire-shod Mercedes cars struggling on the slippery track, Sainz soon stunned both Hamilton and Bottas by surging past to take an unlikely lead.
The Spaniard’s time in P1 didn’t last long, however, and as the medium tires came alive he was passed first by Bottas, on lap six, and soon after by Hamilton. Although he was on soft tires, Verstappen too, began to find more and more pace and on lap he dismissed the McLaren driver into Turn 1 to reclaim third place.
Behind them, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, on medium tires, was also on the move, and after slipping to seventh he rapidly bypassed Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen, who had made up a staggering 10 places on the opening lap, and then Lando Norris and Sainz to take back fourth place.
With normal service resumed at the front, Verstappen then settled into a demanding first stint on the fragile soft tires, and as Bottas and Hamilton stretched their legs, the Dutchman struggled to hang on to the Mercedes pair. By lap 19 he was 11 seconds behind the top two.
Bottas, though, was coming under increasing pressure from his team-mate and on lap 20 the lead changed hands when the championship leader tucked in behind Bottas out of the final corner and used DRS to blast past into Turn 1.
Verstappen made his first stop for new tires at the end of lap and his switch to mediums saw him rejoin in sixth place, behind Sainz, who had yet to pit. The Spaniard eventually steered towards the pit lane at the end of lap 26 and Verstappen rose to P5 behind the impressive Pierre Gasly who had climbed to P4 in the first third of the race. The Frenchman pitted at the end of lap 28, took on medium tires and rejoined in eighth pace. Verstappen moved up to fourth behind Leclerc and when the Monegasque driver shed his starting medium tires on lap 34 and Verstappen once again slotted into third place.
As the race hit the halfway mark both Mercedes drivers pitted for hard tires and in the wake of their sole tire change the race at the front then settled as the Mercedes pair raced towards a one-two finish.
Verstappen dug in for a steady march to third, protecting his ageing medium tires with Leclerc, on hard tires, 18 seconds behind. Sergio Pérez, meanwhile, made a great recovery from his first-lap incident to rise to fifth place but in the final laps, on fading tires, he was passed by Gasly and Sainz. The Mexican finished in a still impressive seventh.
Esteban Ocon took eighth place ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. The final point on offer was taken by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
2020 FIA Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix – Race
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 66 1:29’56.828
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 66 1:30’22.420 25.592
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 66 1:30’31.336 34.508
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 66 1:31’02.140 1’05.312
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 65 1:30’13.864 1 Lap
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 65 1:30’15.280 1 Lap
7 Sergio Pérez Racing Point/Mercedes 65 1:30’16.886 1 Lap
8 Esteban Ocon Renault 65 1:30’18.457 1 Lap
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 65 1:30’19.151 1 Lap
10 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 65 1:30’20.291 1 Lap
11 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 65 1:30’26.810 1 Lap
12 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 65 1:30’33.049 1 Lap
13 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 65 1:30’47.438 1 Lap
14 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 65 1:30’55.041 1 Lap
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 65 1:31’07.621 1 Lap
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 65 1:31’10.875 1 Lap
17 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 65 1:31’13.472 1 Lap
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 64 1:30’01.078 2 Laps
19 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 64 1:30’28.169 2 Laps
Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 51 1:12’34.495 Accident damage