Palmer: “This is why the opening laps were so exciting”

28-10-2020 13:26 | Updated: 28-10-2020 17:50
F1 News
Palmer: “This is why the opening laps were so exciting”

Last Sunday, for the first time in 24 years, the Portuguese Grand Prix took place on the Algarve circuit near Portimaõ. The race had an exciting opening phase, with a number of exciting laps with some excellent action.

New asphalt

The tyres were an important theme during the race. Especially during and right after the start, the tyre choices were crucial. According to Jolyon Palmer, this, combined with the smooth new asphalt, was the biggest factor in the chaos at the start.

Pirelli had brought the hardest compounds to Portugal, but Palmer said it wasn't necessarily the best choice for the new asphalt on the track. "A new layer of asphalt often results in little wear and tear, so it's not as hard on the tires. This makes it difficult for drivers to get temperature inside the tires. We also saw this in Sochi. This is also why Esteban Ocon was able to complete 53 laps on the medium tire," said Palmer in his column for

Confidence with low grip

"There was only one driver who started on new softs, and that was Kimi Raikkonen. He drove a majestic first lap, winning 10 places. In addition, Sainz played a leading role in the opening lap. He also had the advantage that his tyres were quickly warmed up."

Palmer continues: "Confidence also plays a big role here. Sainz and Raikkonen were both very dedicated and clinical in their driving style. It's difficult with little grip, but it helps to build up the temperature. Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, lost confidence after a lock-up in turn 5 and oversteer in turn 6, when he's normally good in low grip situations".

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