The 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix (officially the Formula 1 Heineken Grande Prémio De Portugal 2021) was the third race of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Algarve, Portugal between April 30 and May 2 2021.
Valtteri Bottas took pole position for the race, but it was Lewis Hamilton who won the race for the second year in a row, despite losing out to Max Verstappen after an early Safety Car restart due to Kimi Räikkönen retiring from front wing damage after clipping his Alfa Romeo team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi. He managed to repass him and eventually gain the lead on the 20th lap. A long first stint for Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Pérez meant that he took the lead after Hamilton pitted, but then conceded the lead to Hamilton after getting blocked by the Haas of Nikita Mazepin a few laps prior, the latter receiving a post-race penalty as a result, while Hamilton went on to score his 97th race win. Bottas was passed by Verstappen after his stop and fell behind momentarily after suffering a brief exhaust sensor issue, but nevertheless, took the fastest lap award, with Verstappen's fastest lap time deleted for track limits violations. Daniel Ricciardo managed to race to 9th place after starting from 16th in McLaren.
Background[edit | edit source]
As with the previous Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix round, the Portuguese Grand Prix was originally a one-off race for the 2020 season. Following the omission of the Vietnamese Grand Prix from the original 2021 calendar, due to corruption charges on a key race official, the slot has since been left as a TBC. Speculations grew with the Portuguese Grand Prix being one of the favorites to take the spot. On March 5, it was confirmed that the Portuguese Grand Prix would take up the TBC slot on the calendar.
Heading into the weekend Lewis Hamilton held a one-point lead ahead of Max Verstappen, who won the previous round but Hamilton's fastest lap ensured he still had the championship lead entering the next round.
On the day of the previous round it was also announced that the Miami Grand Prix is confirmed to be the latest addition to F1 starting the next season, with a new 10-year deal signed. The race will take place at the Hard Rock Stadium, which is home to the Miami Dolphins baseball team and has hosted the Super Bowl six times and numerous music concerts.
On the Monday before the race weekend, all teams have unanimously agreed to trial a sprint race qualifying format. The format for sprint qualifying will be as follows:
- Friday: A one-hour free practice session with two sets of tires for teams to choose freely, and the Qualifying session with five soft tire sets available only.
- Saturday: A one-hour practice session with one set of tires for teams to choose freely, and a 100 km (60 mi) sprint race (one-third of Grand Prix distance) with two sets of tires to choose freely. Points are awarded to the Top 3 with a 3-2-1 scoring basis with pit stops not compulsory.
- Sunday: Full-distance race with two remaining sets of tires.
Entry List[edit | edit source]
The full entry list for the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix is outlined below:
Practice Overview[edit | edit source]
Qualifying[edit | edit source]
Q1[edit | edit source]
The biggest shocker in qualifying was Ricciardo. He alongside Stroll, Latifi, Schumacher and Mazepin were out of Q1, the first time since the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix that he was eliminated in that period.
Q2[edit | edit source]
Russell nearly made it to Q3 by five hundreths of a second. He was out alongside Giovinazzi, Alonso, Tsunoda and Raikkonen. Vettel progressed to Q3 for the first time since the 2020 British Grand Prix.
Q3[edit | edit source]
Verstappen initially set the quickest time for pole, but was deleted for track limits violations. Valtteri Bottas thus took his 17th career pole by seven thousandths of a second ahead of Hamilton, despite both not improving their runs on medium tires.
Qualifying Results[edit | edit source]
The full qualifying results for the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||11||1:19.485||5||1:18.650||3||1:18.746||3|
|4||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull-Honda||6||1:19.337||8||1:18.845||4||1:18.890||4|
|5||55||Carlos Sainz, Jr.||Ferrari||5||1:19.309||7||1:18.813||5||1:19.039||5|
|10||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||8||1:19.403||9||1:18.970||10||1:19.659||10|
|12||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||9||1:19.410||12||1:19.216||12|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||14||1:19.748||15||1:19.812||15|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||17||1:19.913||17|
|107% time: 1:24.232|
- Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.
Grid[edit | edit source]
Race[edit | edit source]
Report[edit | edit source]
Results[edit | edit source]
The full results for the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix are outlined below:
- * Mazepin received a post-race 5-second time penalty for ignoring blue flags and impeding Pérez.
Milestones[edit | edit source]
- 500th race start for Mercedes-powered cars.
- 17th career Pole Position for Valtteri Bottas, equaling Jackie Stewart's record.
- Mercedes' 128th pole position, equaling Williams' record.
- This is also Mercedes' 71st front row lockout.
- 97th race win for Lewis Hamilton.
- Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen set a new record for the most recurring podium drivers at 15.
Standings[edit | edit source]
Hamilton extended his championship lead ahead of Verstappen to 8 points after the race, leading the drivers' championship standings for the 123rd race, whilst their team-mates' points finishing ensured they moved up the order of the drivers standings. Both Alpine drivers were able to depose Tsunoda to the bottom among the points scorers, and also move up to 5th in the constructors' standings.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
References[edit | edit source]
Images and Videos:
- F1.com: Miami Grand Prix to join F1 calendar in 2022, with exciting new circuit planned
- F1.com: Sprint Qualifying to debut at three Grands Prix in 2021 following unanimous agreement from teams
- Silverstone Circuit: SILVERSTONE HOST FIRST SPRINT QUALIFYING AT THE 2021 FORMULA 1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX
- Cite error: Invalid
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- ' ', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2020), , (Accessed 05/07/2020)
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