F1 Portuguese GP Preview: The leadership at stake in Portimao
Fifteen days after the Emilia-Romagna GP, the F1 World Championship is back this weekend (April 29-May 2) for the third race of the calendar: The Portuguese GP.
The Algarve International Circuit will host a new battle for the leadership of the standings. Mercedes arrives in Portugal holding a very fragile lead and under a lot of pressure from Red Bull.
Mercedes’ star, Lewis Hamilton, will be defending the single point that separates him from Max Verstappen (Red Bull) in the Drivers’ Standings and the seven points that his team holds against the squad of the energy drink.
The ‘Blue Team’ for their part will be after their second consecutive victory of the season with the goal of ousting the Briton and seven-time champion from his throne. There is, however, a lot more at stake than the lead of the standings. Both teams are hoping to strike a psychological blow to their rival and to prove who’s the strongest.
Another exciting battle could take place for the third place with McLaren set to defend that privileged position. With Lando Norris‘ third place in Ímola, they can now hope for a similar result at Algarve’s international Circuit. The Woking team could be closely chased by Ferrari at the Portuguese GP. The Italians’ ‘renaissance’ project is so far well supported by the good performance of their SF21.

Mercedes and Hamilton: Hanging on to the leadership

Following their defeat in San Marino, Mercedes and Hamilton have only one thing in mind, to strike a counterblow to the team from Milton Keynes. Painfully aware that the RB16B has now become a fierce rival, they want to show the world that they are still the monarchs of Formula One.
Last year at the Portuguese GP, the team from Brackley ruled over the racetrack and ended with a 1-2. This time around, however, things have changed, and the dictatorship of the ‘German Empire’ is being challenged by an equally powerful rival.
At an individual level, Hamilton will be defending his very slim leadership advantage very much on his own. Unfortunately, not a lot is expected from his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who is going through a slump in his performance.

Red Bull: To win with Max and bring Checo back to the top

Spurred on by the strong performance of their RB16B and the weaknesses of the W12, Red Bull will be chasing its second consecutive victory of the season at the Portuguese GP. In order to achieve this, its best asset will once again be Max Verstappen, the winner in San Marino a fortnight ago.
Meanwhile, his Mexican teammate, Checo Pérez, needs to make up in Portimao for his disappointing performance in Italy, where a succession of errors relegated him to the eleventh position.

McLaren: After another podium

McLaren is having a sensational start to the season. At the previous appointment in Italy Lando Norris took the first podium of the campaign for the Woking team. For McLaren to truly shine, however, Daniel Ricciardo, who was sixth in Ímola, still needs to fully adapt and feel completely at ease at the wheel of the orange car.
Regardless of their individual performances, which so far have earned Norris third place in the standings, the great pace of the MCL35M, both on a single lap and during the race, is demonstrating to be very high and consistent.

Ferrari: To continue its progress

After the fourth and fifth places of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in San Marino, Ferrari will face the Portuguese round in great spirits. With their disastrous 2020 further and further behind, they are set to continue making progress at the Portuguese GP. Their ultimate goal: To get closer to McLaren and their coveted third place in the standings.
Images of Portuguese GP: F1.com.

Leave a Reply