Conclusions after Portimao: Russell earns his seat, Albon's time is running out

26-10-2020 08:33
F1 News
Conclusions after Portimao: Russell earns his seat, Albon's time is running out

In Portugal we saw the second new circuit on the Formula 1 calendar in 2020. We were presented with an entertaining race from which we can again draw some important conclusions.

Albon's time seems to be running out

It was another weekend for Alexander Albon to forget. After a neat sixth place in qualifying on medium tyres, things looked bright for the race. Unfortunately for Albon, the Thai quickly fell back to eventually bring home a dull 12th place. The man he replaced in mid-2019, Pierre Gasly, drove a great race with nice overtaking actions. He finished fifth in the AlphaTauri.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, however, gave Gasly a sneer on Sunday, as he said Albon would perform just as well in the AlphaTauri. Obviously, Horner doesn't see Gasly returning to the Red Bull main team. That seems to be between Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Albon himself. Although Albon seems to be losing chances with performances like those of Sunday.

Ferrari join the top of the midfield

For the third race in a row, Ferrari came up with a major upgrade to the SF1000. Charles Leclerc pulled everything out of the red car in Portugal, as is often the case, and managed to finish fourth in qualifying and the race. The speed over one lap seemed to have been there for some time, but it was a relief to see Leclerc fighting himself back after a bad start. A fourth place is an excellent result for Ferrari in 2020. Sebastian Vettel found it more difficult at Portimao and after a disappointing qualifying, he ended with a tenth-place finish.

Russell shows that he belongs in F1

Someone who also has to watch out for his seat in Formula 1 is George Russell. The talented Brit is in his second season at Williams and can show that he has the ability with a much-improved car compared to last season. 14th place was not good enough for points, but the 22-year-old driver showed his value especially in the first part of the race by keeping Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari behind him. For Russell, it is hoped that the new owners of Williams will see it and that his place will not be taken by Sergio Perez.

New circuits good for the sport

Portimao was the second brand new circuit on the 2020 F1 calendar. Mugello already showed that new circuits could be good for Formula 1 and Portimao confirmed on Sunday. On Sunday we had a crazy start with Carlos Sainz suddenly in the lead. The track was unpredictable, which made it fun for the fans to watch.

Midfield more competitive than ever

It has been said before in 2020, but with Leclerc reaching fourth place and Gasly finishing fifth for the so-called "top of midfield" it is confirmed again: Midfield is more competitive than ever. Racing Point, McLaren and Renault are within six points of each other, while Leclerc and Gasly can remain well within the footsteps of these teams. 

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