Lewis Hamilton won his first-ever Portuguese Grand Prix with considerable ease apart from an early skirmish toward the start of the race, where he lost the lead to teammate Valtteri Bottas.
But it didn’t take long for the six-time FORMULA 1 World Champion to retake the lead, a position he’d hold onto well enough until crossing the checkered flag, to register his 92nd FORMULA 1 race win.
On a day where both Mercedes drivers ended the race exactly from where they began, Lewis Hamilton scoring his 8th win in 12 events, with Bottas capturing his 9th podium of the year, it was all Mercedes once again.
But the greatest slice of glory- deservingly-belonged to FORMULA 1’s Mr. Consistency: Lewis Hamilton.
It’s not for nothing that Hamilton is described as an all-time great, once a youngster picked by Ron Dennis for greater good in the sport (McLaren) going on to become the man with most race-wins in the 70 year history of the sport.
It’s, make no mistake, a sport one simply cannot imagine without a certain Lewis Carl Lewis.
So to the naysayers, what panned out at the end of the first-ever Portuguese Grand Prix (the last being held in 1996) was “Hammertime,” once again.
But only the British champion would know the significance of the grind and sheer effort it’s taken him to score what most drivers would wish to accomplish in the top-most annals of motor-racing: the record for most wins, ever.
That being said, in a crazy race, that at one time, could even have gone Carlos Sainz’ way, the McLaren driver lunging into the lead, snatching the track leader position from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas –early on- became soon after, the familiar 2020 story.
When Hamilton retook the lead from teammate Bottas- the man behind fine wins at Russia, and the season-opener at Austria- it didn’t take long for the spectator to realize it was that one team controlling the proceedings once again.
That very team that simply hasn’t allowed any other Constructor to win a single season ever since the start of the Turbo-Hybrid era in FORMULA 1 (2014 onward).
That being said, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen- who failed to score in events at Tuscany and Mugello- scored a fine P3, his eighth podium of the season.
Further down the order, there were gains for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, the young Monegasque collecting a hard-fought P4 in the end, but that wasn’t before some excellent overtakes on the likes of McLaren drivers and the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, the latter scoring a respectable P7.
Meanwhile, Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly, whose last three race finishes included a P6 at the Nurburgring, the P9 at Sochi, at a DNF at Tuscany, reached arguably his best result since the Monza win, with a P5 at Algarve.
That told, it wasn’t the best result for the likes of Lance Stroll who emerged 20th at the end, after trying to pull off a dubious albeit desperate move on McLaren’s Norris as the duo battled in the approach to a stiff right-hander. As a result of this ill-conceived move, the Racing Point driver picked up a knock on his Mercedes-powered car’s front wing and would spend the remainder of his race at the back.
But it wasn’t that disappointing a race for the other Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who got the better of Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo in capturing a hard-fought tenth. But this wasn’t before a close fight between the two former teammates that saw the Finn defend with all his might in a recalcitrant Ferrari-powered machine.
Although, to his credit, Kimi Raikkonen, the driver with most entries in FORMULA 1 ever, succeeded in keeping Alex Albon of Red Bull, a driver nearly half his age with an inarguably (second-best) better machine behind, the Thai-British driver ending his maiden Portuguese GP on 12th.
It wasn’t all that great a race for Daniel Ricciardo ever, the driver who bagged a podium a fortnight ago, his first-ever for Renault, and that too at the Nurburgring-bound Eifel GP. But at Portugal, the famous Aussie, beginning from P10, could only manage a ninth, having at one stage, looked set to keep up with a P7 or even P6 position.
But eventually, the lion’s share of success belonged to the tiger of FORMULA 1; the man who just doesn’t budge in pursuit of constant excellence, an example of which one saw once again, for the 92nd occasion in Lewis Hamilton’s checkered career.
Hat’s off to the man who persists and conducts himself with simplicity. It doesn’t matter whether he’s considered an all-time great for what matters is he lives upto the motto of his life “Still I Rise” every time he gets behind the wheels of an F1 car!
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There’s no denying the brilliance of Lewis Hamilton- world champion * six times, world champion soon again, with just a few days left for a Schumacher-equalling seventh title!