Portimao confirmed that it is a spectacular track, perfect for hosting a Formula 1 grand prix, by giving us exciting monuments in both qualifying and the race, also enlivened by a few drops of rain with a surprising start that saw Sainz take the lead for a few laps, as well as the spectacular start by Raikonnen who had taken sixth place.
Hamilton not only put way his 92nd win and set a new record for the number of win which will soon be updated but he outclassed Valtteri Bottas leaving him more than 25” behind more than 14 times and stopping the clock at 1’18”750. Ferrari managed to catch up with the second ranked teams, even if the fourth place came mainly thanks to Leclerc. It was surely a positive result, even if it still pays a second from Mercedes.
It was a race in which many drivers put themselves on show, starting with Gasly’s excellent fifth with Alpha Tauri. Like him Ocon was also good at managing his car and tyres managing to delay his pit stop and staying on the track for more than 52 of the 66 laps. As already stated, Sainz was also the protagonist of a good race, like Raikonnen who fought to take the point which was lost only to Vettel (tenth across the finish line).
Considering the initial presumptions we have witnessed an entertaining season. Leaving aside the double races on some circuits, which I honestly would not repeat, the new circuits did not betray the expectations.
In a week’s time Italy will host its third round, After Monza and Mugello it is now Imola’s turn. This is a historic track that needs no introduction and known to few drivers where there is gravel along the sides of the track. For the first time the weekend’s programme will be grouped in only two days. Another novelty.
Gian Carlo Minardi