Lewis Hamilton extended his lead over Max Verstappen at the top of the drivers’ championship with his second race victory over the season at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas started in pole position, but was passed by his Mercedes teammate after 20 laps, with Hamilton going around the outside of the Finn following an overly defensive move into Turn One.
The two Red Bulls of Verstappen, who finished second, and Sergio Perez kept Mercedes honest for the duration of the 66-lap race, with Perez leading the race for a good stint following a series of pit stops, but Hamilton wasn’t to be denied.
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Bottas ultimately finished third with Perez in fourth place. Meanwhile, Lando Norris extended his good start to the second by crossing the line in fifth. The real focus, however, continues to be on the unfolding title duel between Hamilton and Verstappen.
DRIVER OF THE DAY - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
While this wasn’t Hamilton’s best ever drive, it was a pretty flawless performance from the defending world champion. This had the potential to be a real test for him, but he took his opportunities when they came and made himself untouchable at the head of the pack. Perez, Norris and Esteban Ocon also deserve a mention for their drives as all three picked up good points.
WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
7/66 - Verstappen gets the jump on Hamilton! Pure opportunism from the Red Bull and he's up to second place as the Safety Car ends! That is bad news for Mercedes who now have their two cars split by Verstappen!
11/66 - Hamilton back ahead of Verstappen! The Red Bull was guilty of a touch of oversteer at turn 14 and that is all Hamilton needed to pass him and reclaim second place. That didn't last long for Verstappen.
20/66 - What a move by Hamilton! Bottas made a dive to the right and that gave Hamilton the space to go around the outside of his teammate! That was an over-defensive move by Bottas and that ultimately gave Hamilton the look that he wouldn't have ordinarily had.
38/66 - Verstappen claims second place! Bottas just didn't have the grip on the cold tyres and Verstappen gets the job done and passes the Finn. Hamilton now coming into the pits as the race leader!
51/66 - Hamilton back into the lead! Perez did his best to keep the Mercedes behind him for as long as possible, but there was nothing he could do to combat its pace down the home straight.
HAMILTON WINS - A magnificent showing from the world champion as Hamilton claims his second race victory of the season! Verstappen takes the fastest lap point in the final lap as he crosses the line in second while Bottas rounds off the podium places. Red Bull just didn't have the pace in the second half of the race.
BEST OVERTAKE OF THE DAY
There were technically better overtakes on the day, but Hamilton’s pass on Bottas after 20 laps was pure opportunism. This was the turning point in the whole race, with Bottas far too defensive in turning in early. This opened up the space for Hamilton to go the long way round, illustrating the difference in the mindset between the two Mercedes teammates.
BEST PIT EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
“Hunt him down, Valtteri. You’re the quickest car,” came the message from Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff as Bottas struggled to get close to the back of Verstappen. This revealed a lot into the way Wolff thinks about Bottas as his second driver. He wants to see more from the Finn.
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