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  • Writer's pictureRhonan Colquhoun

F1: Hamilton wins Portuguese GP to become new record holder

Lewis Hamilton triumphed at F1's new circuit to become the most successful driver as the Brit won his 92nd victory ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valterri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen

25th October 2020

Hamilton, who bet Bottas to Pole Position, looked the weaker of the two right up until the Brit claimed Pole as it was Bottas who had led all of the three practice sessions.

After winning the Eifel GP last time out, Hamilton matched Michael Schumacher's record of 91 wins and his win today means that the six time World Champion now becomes the new record holder.

The opening lap saw three different leaders. Hamilton got off the line well to lead but come Turn 5, Bottas pounced at the chance of getting ahead of his team-mate but ultimately lost out to McLaren's Carlos Sainz who rocketed from 7th on the grid.

The chaotic scenes were a result of both Hamilton and Bottas struggling to get their Medium tyres up to temperature while Sainz was able to fire his Soft tyres quicker and took full advantage.

Once their tyres were up to temperature, Bottas and Hamilton quickly dispatched of Sainz and then by Lap 20, Hamilton was able to out-drag his team-mate for the lead into Turn 1.

From then onwards, Hamilton looked in complete control, only briefly relinquishing the lead when he pitted, to win at F1's newest circuit.

Bottas, unable to get his tyres to work to his liking, settled for second albeit 25 seconds behind.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished third and less than 10 seconds behind the Finn.

The opening lap was made more chaotic by the contact made Verstappen and Racing Point's Sergio Perez. The contact sent the Mexican spinning and forced him to make an early pit-stop. An superb recovery drive followed with Perez losing out on 5th place as Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly and Sainz passed with only a few laps remaining.

31 seconds behind Verstappen in 4th was Ferrari's Charles Leclerc who continued to out-perform his machinery. The points haul has kept Leclerc in the fight for 4th in the Championship with the Monegasque only five points behind Daniel Ricciardo in 5th.

Leclerc's team-mate, Four Time World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, scored his first point since the Tuscan GP in which two races have since followed. The points haul of both Leclerc and Vettel amounted to 13 which keeps the Scuderia ahead of Alpha Tauri who scored 10 points with Gasly in 5th.

Esteban Ocon headed Renault team-mate Ricciardo to 8th and 9th in a slightly disappointing day for the French squad with Vettel rounding out the top 10.

Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen, who had a fantastic start, making his way up from 16th to 5th on the opening lap, was unable to score points and finished within seconds of Vettel.

Alexander Albon had a very disappointing race with the Red Bull driver finishing in 12th place and was even lapped by Verstappen. Albon's poor performances has left the Thai-Brit fighting for his drive at Red Bull for next season with Team Principal Christian Horner saying "It's Albon's seat to lose."

The result puts Hamilton 77 points clear of Bottas in the standings and with five races remaining this season.

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