Lewis Hamilton took the win at the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday, increasing his championship lead once again.
Round three of the World Championship didn’t provide the close racing that some were hoping for, but it did highlight Hamilton’s immense talents which show no signs of slacking.
Sunday’s results will see 25 points for Hamilton and 19 for Verstappen – extending the gap in the championship to 7 points in Hamilton’s favour after round three.
Valtteri Bottas crossed the line in third, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez fourth and McLaren’s Lando Norris in fifth, while Charles Leclerc again got the better of his Ferrari teammate finishing 6th, with Sainz down in 11th place.
Let’s see what some of the drivers had to say following the race in Portimão:
Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
“That was such a tough race, physically and mentally, just keeping everything together. It was very windy out there, obviously, so it was easy to put a foot wrong.
“I didn’t quite get as good a start as Valtteri, then lost out on the restart which was not good. I was not happy about that, naturally.
“But that race was satisfying when you’re in third and have to overtake two amazing drivers – amazing!
“Having races like that is what I live for.
“The gap between us all is so close and every single point is going to count this year.
“I love the battle, I’ve loved it since my days in karting and as a team, we can’t leave any stone unturned – we’ve got to continue to push this car, squeeze everything out of it.”
Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes
“Obviously not what I was aiming for today because when you start from pole, you want to bring home the win.
“I think ultimately the main issue was the first stint – I was struggling for pace and I still don’t understand why.
“The warm-up with the hard tyre was slow after the pit stop and Max managed to catch me.
“Then we had an exhaust temperature sensor issue later in the race which cost me speed on the straight so it was difficult to close in on Max and fight for P2.
“Eventually, the power came back and I was able to set the fastest lap which could be an important point.
“We need to analyse this weekend over the next two days, learn the lessons and then focus on next weekend – we go again.
Max Verstappen -Red Bull Racing
“Something about this track really does not suit our car and I think in general this was a bit of an off weekend in terms of grip and overall pace.
“We knew last year that we weren’t particularly strong here, so this year has been a bit better and we managed to finish ahead of one Mercedes, but it wasn’t quite good enough to get them both.
“Nevertheless, second is still a pretty good result and we always knew this season would be up and down in terms of the tracks we were strong at and the ones Mercedes were.
“The race today was pretty decent though and we were all constantly pushing which was nice. I tried to put the pressure on Valtteri in the beginning as he was struggling for grip, but clearly Lewis behind had more pace and he made it past us both.
“I was then able to undercut Valtteri in the pit stop but you could clearly see on the hard tyres we were just a bit slower, some laps we could match Lewis and others it was just not possible.
“Towards the end of the race Valtteri was even coming back at me which showed their pace today. It’s a shame the Fastest Lap got taken away, stupid track limits [laughs], they should just put gravel back!
“It is what it is, we always try and I had the gap so we went for it. We scored good points here but I’m looking forward to Barcelona, a track that has more normal grip levels and where I have good memories.
“I think we will also see a clearer picture of how teams have been progressing. It’s a long season ahead so a lot can happen.”
Sergio Perez – Red Bull Racing
“Today was a busy race on my side! Lando managed to get past me at Turn 4 but I thought he had all four wheels off the track so I didn’t defend thinking he’d have to give the place back due to track limits but that wasn’t the case.
“It was a misjudgment on my side and a mistake but being stuck behind Lando compromised our race and cost us a lot of time.
“When I got past him my pace was good but I think the damage had already been done. Afterwards we tried to do something different with strategy by going long in the hope of a Safety Car but it didn’t work out and fourth was the maximum we could do.
“We are definitely making good progression with the car and the race pace, I am understanding it more and more with the extra kilometres I am driving.
“Of course there are still areas I need to get on top of and improve but it’s just a process and we’ll continue working hard for next week in Barcelona.
“It’s been very close again with Mercedes all weekend and I think this will be the case for the entire season.
“Some weekends they will be faster and others we will be so we just have to make sure we keep our heads down and continue working hard.”
Kimi Raikkonen – Alfa Romeo
“You never want to have contact with your team-mate, and this time, unfortunately, it was my mistake. I got caught out by the slipstream and ended up driving into Antonio.
“I couldn’t do much after that, the front wing got stuck under the car and I couldn’t steer: all I could do was go straight into the gravel.
“It’s a disappointment as we looked like we had a decent pace, I made a really good start and the race could have been positive.
“The only upside was that at least Antonio didn’t get any damage and was able to continue.”
Antonio Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo
“I feel we got all we could from the race today: it wasn’t possible to get any closer than this to the top ten.
“After the contact with Kimi, from which thankfully I didn’t get damage, and the Safety Car, nothing really happened in the front which made it really difficult to break into the points.
“I started 12th and finished there. I still had a fun race, some battles with Alonso and Vettel which kept me busy.
“I was happy to be able to pass Seb and keep both Aston Martins behind until the race.
“We will continue working hard to get into the points soon.”
Pierre Gasly – AlphaTauri
“Honestly, today was really difficult – it wasn’t the race we wanted but, to be honest, it was what we expected. We’ve really struggled here across the weekend, only just making it through to the top 10 in Qualifying, so I think to come away with a point is positive.
“I was happy at the start of the race as I was managing to follow Charles, but ultimately we lacked pace – due to having no grip in the low-speed corners – and in the end, I think it was great to pass Carlos to get a point for the team.
“I think the circuit in Barcelona will suit our car more, as it’s a much faster track, so I’m hoping that we’ll perform better there in a few days’ time.”
Yuki Tsunoda – AlphaTauri
“It was really tough today, I had no grip at the beginning of the race and there was just no pace at all for me out there.
“I’ve struggled all weekend with the balance of the car, the conditions haven’t helped, but everyone has been driving the same track so we just need to analyse the data, to see what didn’t work for us here in Portugal, and learn from it ahead of next weekend in Spain.”
Racing resumes in just six days for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 9, 2021.