Lewis Hamilton broke the record for most Formula One victories after taking a dominant win at 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix from Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas
Having lost the lead midway through a chaotic opening lap to Bottas, Hamilton regrouped as McLaren’s Carlos Sainz proceeded to briefly claim the lead from lap two until lap six with Hamilton following through on lap seven.
Hamilton calmly bided his time as several drivers struggled with managing tyre wear before launching a move at start of lap 20 with DRS to storm into the lead through Turn One, before controlling the race to clinch victory by 25.592 seconds from Bottas and break Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins.
Max Verstappen survived a first lap collision with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez to claim third ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc as Pierre Gasly, Sainz, Perez, Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel completed the top ten.
In terms of the Drivers’ standings, Hamilton now extends his championship lead over Bottas to 77 points with a maximum of 130 points still on offer across the last five races of this season.
Mercedes meanwhile are on the verge of a seventh consecutive constructor title as they hold a 209 point lead over Red Bull, meaning that if the Silver Arrows outscore Red Bull by 11 points at Imola next weekend then the title is sealed.
In the battle for third, Racing Point cling onto third from McLaren by two points with Renault now four points behind the latter in fifth and 27 points clear of sixth-placed Ferrari.
Hamilton made a slow getaway at the start but retained the lead from Verstappen as Bottas stuck to inside line, which allowed him to squeeze Verstappen wide into Turn Three to reclaim second, leaving the Dutchman to fight off Perez as he tagged the Racing Point into a spin to send Perez spinning down the order.
Rain however began to briefly fall with Hamilton getting passed by Bottas then Sainz, although the Spaniard then overtook Bottas for the lead on the second lap at Turn Five, until his soft tyres began to lose pace and he slipped backwards from lap six as Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen soon passed him.
Leclerc then got past Sainz into Turn One on lap 12 whilst Hamilton bided his time before striking at the start of lap 20 with DRS to make a move into Turn One.
Further down the order, Raikkonen had leapt up during the chaotic opening laps to sixth before Leclerc, Ricciardo, Gasly and Lance Stroll demoted the Alfa Romeo driver until he pitted on lap 12 due to destroyed soft tyres.
Lando Norris who had ran as high as fourth before dropping back to seventh where he fended off Stroll until the Canadian attempted a lunge round the outside of Turn One on lap 18, resulting in Norris clipping Stroll’s right rear to send the Racing Point spinning as both eventually pitted with damage.
Stroll eventually retired after 51 laps with race-ending damage from his collision with Norris which affected the floor and car’s balance, following 33 laps of circulating with the damage at the back of the field.
Several drivers in the midfield teams including Red Bull’s Alex Albon soon began struggling for tyre wear with some attempting two-stop strategies unlike others, with exception of Renault’s Esteban Ocon who didn’t pit until end of lap 53 from fifth position.
Rain meanwhile lingered within the immediate distance without posing any real danger throughout remainder of the race bar the occasional droplets, as Perez recovered from last position following his opening lap spin to fifth on the medium tyres until his second stop for soft tyres late on backfired.
Perez suddenly lost pace in the closing stages with Gasly and Sainz passing him in the final two laps to demote the Mexican to seventh, even despite a late defensive move into Turn One on lap 64 to briefly starve off Gasly’s challenge.
Vettel suffered a disastrous start which left him close to the rear of the field but he benefitted from careful tyre management whilst others struggled to ultimately claim tenth ahead of Raikkonen with a point sealing move on lap 54.
Williams’ George Russell produced a strong performance to reach a high of seventh before eventually fading following his second stop to an eventual 14th placed finish behind the two-stopping Norris.
2020 Portuguese Grand Prix Results
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||66||1h 29m 56.828|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||66||+ 25.592|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||66||+ 34.508|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||66||+ 65.312|
|5||Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||65||+ 1 Lap|
|6||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||65||+ 1 Lap|
|7||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||65||+ 1 Lap|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Renault||65||+ 1 Lap|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||65||+ 1 Lap|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||65||+ 1 Lap|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||65||+ 1 Lap|
|12||Alex Albon||Red Bull||65||+ 1 Lap|
|13||Lando Norris||McLaren||65||+ 1 Lap|
|14||George Russell||Williams||65||+ 1 Lap|
|15||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||65||+ 1 Lap|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||65||+ 1 Lap|
|17||Romain Grosjean||Haas||65||+ 1 Lap|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||65||+ 2 Lap|
|19||Daniil Kvyat||Alpha Tauri||64||+ 2 Laps|
|20||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||51||Damage|