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AFP
May 4, 2021

Hamilton wins Portuguese Grand Prix

Sports

AFP
May 4, 2021

PORTIMAO, Portugal: Lewis Hamilton delivered a flawless drive in his Mercedes to win the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday from his arch title rival Max Verstappen.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton’s 97th Grand Prix triumph extended his early season lead over Red Bull’s Verstappen in the Formula One drivers’ standings to eight points.

In third place in Portimao was pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas in the other Mercedes with Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull in fourth.

“That was such a tough race physically and mentally. I didn’t get a good start and also lost out at the restart but it was a great result in the end,” said Hamilton.

“Today wasn’t all perfect and we need to get ready now for the quick turnaround for Spain.”

At a sun-drenched Algarve International Circuit Bottas led Hamilton from the two Red Bulls into the first corner.

By the end of lap one it was the safety car which led after the two Alfa Romeos collided, with Kimi Raikkonen’s front wing littered across the straight after clipping Antonio Giovinazzi’s car.

Bottas carefully controlled the rolling restart on lap seven but in his rearview mirror he will have seen Verstappen charge past Hamilton and into second.

“That a boy” was the pleased reaction on the team radio from the Red Bull pits.

But four laps later and a mistake by the Dutchman on turn 14 let Hamilton regain second, darting past on the inside with Verstappen snapping: “I’m just a sitting duck on the straight. It’s unbelievable.”

Hamilton hit the front with a superb sweeping move past Bottas at the start of lap 20, quickly establishing daylight between the Mercedes men.

Verstappen was the first of the leading group to pit on lap 36, with Bottas next, followed by Hamilton, with Perez yet to change tyres, in front.