Winners and Spinners - Portuguese Grand Prix
In some ways it was a good race, in others it was quite dull. But who came out on top, and who was nearly three laps down?
Making up for lost places, a strong performance from Danny Ric, but what if he'd started further up the grid?
Daniel Ricciardo - What a recovery drive! Stunning work from the Aussie driver, putting together a string of strong laps throughout the afternoon making up an incredible amount of places to net two points.
Mick Schumacher hunting down Nicholas Latifi
Mick Schumacher - A chance for some on-track battling with Nicholas Latifi, hustling the dog of a Haas around the Algarve far quicker than should logically be possible. No points for his work, but it deserves to be recognised nonetheless.
Lando on his hot opening run!
Lando Norris - A strong opening stint making up places and some good sends, making the most of his soft tyres, diving past Checo into the hairpin. Signs of a bold but equally mature driver. Battling against the aggressive pit strategy from Ferrari pushing him to extend on his softs, the young Brit put in a strong drive throughout the race. Nice one.
Driver of the day, Sergio Perez. How he kept those mediums going for so long is beyond me!
Sergio Perez - Making his medium tyres last FOREVER to swap onto the softs at the end and make the most of the rubbered in track. Our tyre preservation king is proving to be a valuable asset for Red Bull, able to turn it on and hammer in those fastest laps, until Mercedes just copy them and do the same thing. Had there not been that gap for Bottas to pit into then it could have had a different outcome, but at this point, the Red Bull set up is looking incredibly potent.
The fastest car on track according to Toto. Which is technically correct, as Max was deemed to be off track.
Bottas - He hasn't won in 19 races, Russia last year. Starting from pole he was the favourite to win this race but a few sloppy power applications saw him lose track position and have to fight back. Losing out to Max post pit stop where he just couldn't extend his advantage when Max pitted, shows that Lewis and Max are pushing the Finn to this absolute limit. He might have come home third and ended up with the fastest lap, but the clock is ticking for Bottas to get a Driver's Champ run in on Hamilton. You could argue that it is too late to go for it this season with Bottas, fourth place with a deficit of five points to Lando Norris in third, while Max and Lewis charge ahead on 61 and 69 points apiece.
I would love to be a fly on the wall in here. "How did you end up a minute behind Mick? Why can't you be more like Mick?"
Nikita Mazepin - I didn't see a spin on track in the race, but he was a minute behind his teammate on track, plus a five-second penalty for holding up Sergio Perez as he was motoring on to extend his medium run. And you can't argue that "Oh he's a rookie! Cut him some slack." Because in this instance, your teammate is your greatest rival, and when your rival is a minute up the road from you and a Williams is lining up to lap you, it is all laid out plain to see.
Just look at that blue sky. Please can an F1 team hire me as their photographer! Please!
Aston Martin - It had looked promising for a brief moment, strong pace, a chance, a fleeting opportunity to get some more points. But no. Lance made an impressively long run on the softs but failed to capitalise on his good work. Fingers crossed they'll get things nailed down soon.
I still love the shots you can get from the elevation changes here. Oh to be an F1 photographer.
Carlos Sainz - A slow second stint pushing back through the pack after a firecracker of an opening, P4 then pitting on lap 22 for mediums and it just didn't work. I feel perhaps putting him in spinners for poor strategy from the pit wall is harsh, so he's more of a dishonourable mention.
Did I leave my yacht parked near here? - Image credit; Motorsport Images
Kimi Räikkönen - Not looking where he was going and tapping the back of his teammate, losing his wing and parking up in a service road. Not even bothering to try and get back to the pits for repairs, just bailing out and chilling is pure Kimi. But equally, we'd expect to see better from a man of his calibre and years of experience. But also, Kimi being Kimi, can't fault that.
Ocon slipping past Sainz in the final pars of the race.
Alpine - Alonso seemed to find what he was looking for about 2/3rds of the way through that race. His tyres came on form and he put in some incredibly punchy lap times making it a struggle for anyone looking to move past him and up the grid. Ocon put in a good series of fights and pushes all race long. It seems that Esteban watched two contenders for a Mercedes seat crash out at Imola, remembered he has Toto's phone number and dialled it in. Strong work from the team to help get that new floor properly set in the car and the aero working around it.
Still on track, and still hunting points, a punctureless Antonio.
Antonio Giovinazzi - After an aggressive start, nothing much materialised from Antonio, a bit of a nothing race from him and the Alfa Romeo team. He was fortunate to not suffer a puncture after his contact with Kimi but beyond that, P12 was a good result but the resurgent Alpines held him off the points places. Another few laps and maybe he would have passed Sainz on his ailing tyres?
Making good progress with no one around to interupt, Charles Leclerc. Or Le Clerk if you're Norris' engineer.
Charles Leclerc - A nondescript 6th place for Charles this week, he ended up in a nowhere land between Esteban and Lando by the chequered flag. He metered out his tyres well, kept his pace strong, but by the time the race had spread out the pack Charles had his place in the order and stayed there. Yeah, nondescript. I'll sum it up like that.
97 wins and going strong.
Lewis Hamilton - Another stereotypical Lewis drive really. Ruthlessly efficient, clinically laid out, every lap he turned had seemingly been planned out three laps prior. Opening up a whopper of a gap over Max, just over 29 seconds, showed just how on it Lewis was, getting his tyres into a comfortable operating window and holding them there despite his now common complaints to Bono of the tyres going. A gap aided by Max pitting towards the end for a madcap dash for the fastest lap point. Which he had. For a brief moment. Once he'd pitted it was his race to take to the chequered flag. Whatever happened, Perez would be pitting back, and his lead over Max was enough to cruise it home. Not a bad drive, incredibly competent, but not a standout drive like Silverstone 2008.
You've got a trophy, look happy about it!
Max Verstappen - Another powerful drive from Max, who had nearly enough left in the car for the fastest lap, if only those tyres just had enough in them to keep him on the tarmac to garner that bonus point and keep Lewis closer in his reach on the championship tables. Not a circuit suited to the Red Bull and Honda power unit, but Max managed to extract as much from it as possible, without risking throwing it all away.
At one point Latifi passed George. A lot to unpack for Williams this weekend.
Williams - The promise of a points finish for Williams was there. It was a race of what could have been. Unfortunately, the aero set up on the FW43B doesn't like wind or following people too much, so when those two elements combined on the Algarve coast it was going to be an uphill battle for Russell and Latifi. Both drivers put in an admirable drive against their car's flaws, Latifi eventually being forced into an error by a charging Schumacher.
Gasly on track.
Alpha Tauri - A bit of a nothing race for the Faenza team. Gasly brought home a point after a late move on the stranded Carlos Sainz. Yuki had a quiet race beyond the start, making a few overtakes while he had a tyre advantage before pitting and struggling to find grip on the cold surface in Portugal. We can't forget the threat of a penalty for his track limit transgressions too. Much beyond? A dull one.