Highlights in Portimao: The track where Hamilton became a legend

10-02-2021 11:57 | Updated: 05-03-2021 10:07
F1 News
Highlights in Portimao: The track where Hamilton became a legend

With the rumour that F1 will announce the return of Portimao to the calendar tomorrow, the thoughts also go back to the race that we had in 2020 when the calendar changed significantly due to the coronavirus. Now the circuit from Portugal seems to fill the spot the Vietnamese Grand Prix had on May 2.

In 2020 the Portuguese Grand Prix was a very special race. Last year, a record was set in Portimao which will not be forgotten and the track itself also left its mark. There are several highlights that fans and drivers think about when they look back at the Portuguese Grand Prix in 2020.

Hamilton takes over Schumacher's record

The most important highlight has to be Lewis Hamilton's 92nd victory. The Brit, therefore, took over the record from Michael Schumacher, who managed to achieve 91 victories in his career. The British Mercedes driver struggled in the opening phase but eventually drove to victory over the physically demanding Portimao circuit.

In 2020 Hamilton reached 95 wins and if the Mercedes car is that dominant again, 100 wins are within reach. However, he will not reach that milestone in Portugal, as the race will be the third race on the calendar, after Bahrain and Imola.

A bizarre opening lap with many overtaking actions

The opening lap in Portimao was one of the most spectacular of the entire 2020 season. Because of the cold track temperature and the big difference between the softest and harder tyres, Carlos Sainz suddenly took the lead after a number of laps, because he started on different tyres to the top drivers. Max Verstappen fell back to fifth place and Kimi Raikkonen made up ten places in that opening phase

Warming up the tyres was a big problem at the time. Portugal is generally known for its hot weather, but not on the date the Grand Prix was held, namely October 25. This time around on May 2 it will be a lot warmer, which will also ensure that the collected data from 2020 will not be as representative.

Roller coaster for the drivers

The circuit in Portimao looks very cool on television. With many height differences and fast ascents and descents in the circuit, it looks a lot like a roller coaster. That already starts with the short part before turn 1. Even before the braking zone, the drivers suddenly go down quickly, before heading towards the fast first corner.

There are also many height differences in the middle sector. In the last sector, there is a long stretch at full throttle, but there too the drivers first go down for a long time before they quickly climb a bit to drive past the pit wall. So there are plenty of things to look forward to for a great Portuguese Grand Prix on May 2.

This article was written and originally published by Bram on the Dutch edition of GPblog.com.

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