Hamilton stretches F1 GP lead in Portugal
PORTIMAO, Portugal (AP):
Formula One (F1) champion Lewis Hamilton made two typically clinical overtakes to bounce back and win the Portuguese Grand Prix (GP) for a 97th career win yesterday, extending his championship lead over Max Verstappen to eight points in his bid for a record eighth F1 title.
At one point Hamilton slipped to third, but the Mercedes driver slickly moved ahead on Lap 20 of 66 to finish ahead of Red Bull’s Verstappen and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
“That was such a tough race, physically and mentally, keeping everything together,” Hamilton said. “Right on my limit. Great race.”
The British driver started from second on the grid behind Bottas, who took a bonus point for the fastest lap. Verstappen thought he set the fastest time, on his final lap, but it was deleted because he went wide of track limits.
“Really? OK. That’s a bit odd,” Verstappen said when he was told about the decision during the post-race track interviews.
Hamilton and Verstappen have been in the top two in all three races, with Hamilton winning two of them heading into next Sunday’s Spanish GP.
Bottas took pole to deny Hamilton a record-extending 100th, making him the third different pole-sitter so far after Verstappen and Hamilton. He made a clean start to hold off Hamilton and Verstappen but dropped off.
“It was a tricky day today, just didn’t have the pace,” Bottas said.
Bottas moved up to fourth in the standings and five points behind Norris, who trails Verstappen by 24 heading into the fourth race of the season, the Spanish GP at the Circuit de Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain.
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 25
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 18
3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 16
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 12
5. Lando Norris (McLaren) 10
6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 8
7. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) 6
8. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) 4
9. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) 2
10. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) 1
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 69
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 61
3. Lando Norris (McLaren) 37
4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 32
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 28
6. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 22
7. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) 16
8. Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari) 14
9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) 8
10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) 7
1. Mercedes 101
2. Red Bull 83
3. McLaren 53
4. Ferrari 42
5. Alpine 13
6. AlphaTauri 9
7. Aston Martin 5
8. Alfa Romeo 0
9. Williams 0
10. Haas 0