Portuguese GP 2021 Predictions: Can Lewis Hamilton Extend His F1 Lead Against Max Verstappen in Portimao?

Published 04/28/2021, 6:21 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton crosses the line to win the race FIA/Handout via REUTERS


We are two races into the F1 season so far and there has already been a rollercoaster of emotions with plenty of thrills and spills. As the F1 circus heads to the third venue in Portimao, let’s try to see who is most likely to come out on top, Mercedes or Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen.

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Well, to start off with, there isn’t plenty of past information to rely on with regards to this circuit. The track in Portimao was brought in to fill the calendar last year. And after a great response from drivers and fans alike, it was reinstated for the 2021 season as well.

Last time around, at the Algarve circuit, we saw Hamilton take the plaudits, both in qualifying as well as in the race. His lieutenant Valtteri Bottas ably helped him to secure the race as a win for Mercedes.

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Formula One F1. Portuguese Grand Prix. Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race on the podium Pool via REUTERS/Jose Sena Goulao

Red Bull, in contrast, struggled in Portugal. Verstappen crossed the checkered flag in P3, 34 seconds behind Hamilton. His teammate Alex Albon came home all the way back in P12! So, that was definitely one race to forget for them. But what we can deduce from this?

It’s advantage Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton in Portugal

From the outside, it appears that this is the Silver Arrows’ race to lose. The pace that the two Mercedes cars displayed on this track was far superior to their rivals.

That is precisely why fans and pundits believed Red Bull should have maximized their effort at Imola. Sure, Verstappen got the win, but they needed Perez to cut the deficit to Mercedes in the standings, because at the Algarve track, the German team could run away with the championship.

Formula One F1. Portuguese Grand Prix. Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Jorge Guerrero

Expect Hamilton to be the boss throughout Saturday’s qualifying sessions. However, with an improved car as compared to last year, expect Max to one-up Bottas and start the race in P2, with the Finn behind him.

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Come the race, it seems unlikely that Lewis will lose two races in a row. So, don’t be too surprised to see the seven-time world champion put some distance between himself and Max and take home a rather comfortable win, if all goes well.

The Dutchman’s sheer talent might help him pip Bottas. However, with Perez nowhere in the picture to challenge the front three, one can expect to see Mercedes sweeping the plaudits in Portugal yet again.

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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