The teams entered the weekend with next to zero knowledge on the track, tyres and almost all other aspects of what this new circuit will demand from the cars.
Amidst a number of solid performances, Lewis Hamilton restored normality after clinching a record breaking 92nd victory. Hamilton may have won in Portugal, but was he the best driver this weekend?
Lewis Hamilton – 1st
Hamilton raised no eyebrows as the Brit climbed to the top step of the podium after another commanding victory to grab the most wins in Formula 1 history.
The second half of the race became a procession as we all waited for the inevitable victory, however a shaky opening lap saw him lose out to both Valtteri Bottas and rather surprisingly the McLaren of Sainz. Keeping composed he eventually capitalised on Bottas’ poorer tyre management and from then on he was typically untouchable.
Valtteri Bottas – 2nd
It must be tough having one of the greatest drivers in motorsport history as a teammate, but the reality is that in an equal car he has barely ignited an ounce of pressure onto what will be Hamilton’s seventh world championship.
It was a race that demonstrated his inability to compete with his teammate after getting a positive start ahead of his teammate, he then predictably dropped back after Hamilton was able to protect his tyres better than the Finn. It was a race full of frustration and very little pace.
Max Verstappen – 3rd
Verstappen contributed once more to what has been the most frequent podium trio this season. And that was the true limit of his Red Bull at the Portuguese GP. After a tricky opening lap, he regained third place but struggled to match the pace of the Mercedes.
A solid performance as the lone Red Bull up front.
Alex Albon – 12th
Albon’s time is surely up at Red Bull. Another dismal result will certainly leave Christian Horner pondering alternate options for that 2021 seat.
The Thai dropped back after a poor start and failed to make up any ground, failing to breach the top ten. With his teammate on the podium and the driver he replaced, Pierre Gasly, up in fifth, this weekend could have been the final straw in deciding his future with the team.
Charles Leclerc – 4th
Leclerc is on course to be in the conversation for driver of the season. Whilst his teammate has been struggling for singular points each week, the Monegasque seems to be wringing every ounce of pace from the car and to get fourth in that Ferrari is quite the achievement.
In what has been a challenging campaign for Ferrari, he provides the team with some hope ahead of the 2021 season.
Sebastian Vettel – 10th
The four-time world champion has had a torrid final term with Ferrari and whilst he gained a much-needed point in Portugal, Vettel will be wishing the season ends sooner rather than later.
He had some entertaining tussles with former teammate Raikkonen and in the end will be satisfied with an improved tenth place.
Pierre Gasly – 5th
It was another sublime drive from the Frenchman who has continued to build on his first victory in Italy earlier this season. His stunning drive would in normal circumstances earn him a drive at Red Bull, but whilst he is deserving you feel a complicated past will keep him from that seat.
After a penultimate lap pass on Sergio Perez he clinched fifth place which earns him his 63rd point of the season, the same figure he had whilst in a Red Bull at the start of last season…
Daniil Kvyat – 19th
It was another race to forget for Kvyat. With several younger drivers impressing in Formula 2, the Russian will be fearing for his seat after a difficult weekend in Portugal.
He has struggled this season to compete with his teammate who seems to be heading in a different direction in the sport.
Carlos Sainz – 6th
It was an incredible start from the Spaniard to leapfrog six cars and gain the race lead in the early stages. However other than the rampant starts for the McLaren’s the car looked weaker than its rivals this weekend.
Despite this Sainz persisted until the final lap where he pipped Perez’ Racing Point to sixth pace, another impressive display ahead of his 2021 move to Ferrari.
Lando Norris – 13th
Along with his teammate it was a bright start for the Brit who moved up to fourth place. However he dropped back through the field and most notably had his race hampered after obtaining damage to his car through contact with Lance Stroll who was punished for a rash overtake in Turn 1.
Sergio Perez – 7th
After an opening lap racing incident with Verstappen, it was a strong recovery from the Mexican who fought his way from last to seventh.
The Racing Point driver almost clinched fifth place but after being overtaken late on by Gasly and Sainz he had to settle for P7.
Lance Stroll – DNF
After several consecutive races absent, you could tell that Stroll was more than a bit rusty. Everything that could go wrong went wrong for the Canadian.
Not only did he cause a collision with Norris, but he also collected further penalties for exceeding track limits before he eventually retired the car. A day to forget.
Esteban Ocon – 8th
Ocon has struggled to beat his teammate this season and after an impressive 54-lap stint on the medium tyre he was able to edge Daniel Ricciardo this time out.
Midway through the race the Frenchman was even able to keep it clean racing wheel-to-wheel with former teammate Perez, with the pair having an awkward history of colliding as teammates whilst at then Force India.
Daniel Ricciardo – 9th
Whilst being a consistent performer in previous races, Ricciardo struggled to emulate his recent success and found himself behind his teammate at the chequered flag.
Kimi Raikkonen – 11th
The Finn provided his fans with one of the greatest opening laps in the history of the sport. Finding grip where others couldn’t in the rainy conditions, he fought his Alfa Romeo from 16th to sixth.
After a dream start the reality is that his car was simply too slow to compete for points, however some entertaining skirmishes with Vettel would have provided his team with enough encouragement heading into the next race in Imola.
Antonio Giovinazzi – 15th
In a race where the Italian need to impress and fight for his F1 career, he failed to impress and faltered to a disappointing 15th place. It was an uneventful race that proved to the Alfa Romeo bosses that a driver change in 2021 is the right decision.
George Russell – 14th
The thought that Russell could be without a seat next year seems remarkable. It was another solid performance from the Brit who carried his car to a 14th place finish.
He occupied seventh place for a large portion of the race which was the highest position he had been in throughout a Formula 1 race. A bit more luck is needed for his first ever points finish.
Nicholas Latifi – 18th
It was a difficult weekend for the Canadian. After an immensely difficult Qualifying session trailing his teammate by eight tenths, he struggled to gain any kind of momentum during the race.
If it wasn’t for his heavy sponsorship money that he brings to Williams, you would expect he would be fearing for his future at the team.
Kevin Magnussen – 16th
The less said the better for both Haas drivers who both faced a weekend of misery. Haas are undoubtably a team with very little positives to take at the moment.
Both their drivers are confirmed to be leaving the team and their car is the slowest on the grid at points. Magnussen and Haas will want the season to end promptly.
Romain Grosjean – 17th
The most entertaining part of Grosjean’s race was attaining a five-second penalty for breaching track limits. A poor outing for the Frenchman.