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Sports News

Motor racing-Team by team analysis of the Portuguese Grand Prix

(Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday’s Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix at the Algarve circuit near Portimao (listed in championship order):

Formula One F1 - Portuguese Grand Prix - Algarve International Circuit - Portimao, Portugal - May 2, 2021 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton on the podium after winning the race alongside second place Red Bull's Max Verstappen and third place Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas REUTERS/Juan Medina

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MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 1, Valtteri Bottas 3)

Hamilton started on the front row, dropped to third after a safety car re-start but passed Verstappen and Bottas to take his second win of the season and 97th of his career. The seven-times world champion is now eight points clear of Verstappen and set a record for most grands prix at the top of the championship (122). Bottas started on pole, lost time with an exhaust sensor failure but took the fastest lap after a late second pitstop.

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RED BULL (Max Verstappen 2, Sergio Perez 4)

Verstappen started third on the grid, passed Hamilton for second but was then overtaken again. He went ahead of Bottas after his first pitstop. The Dutch driver has one win and two seconds from the first three races. Perez started fourth, and led for a while during a long first stint in the hope of a safety car period. Both did second stops in a bid for fastest lap, with Verstappen stripped of his effort for going off track.

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MCLAREN (Lando Norris 5, Daniel Ricciardo 9)

Norris started seventh and continued his great start to the season, leaving Portugal in third place overall. Ricciardo moved up from 16th on the grid to end the weekend with a smile.

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FERRARI (Charles Leclerc 6, Carlos Sainz 11)

Leclerc finished two places higher than his grid position. Sainz was up to the fourth at the start but then fell three places. His car’s tyre performance then dropped off in the closing stages.

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ALPINE (Esteban Ocon 7, Fernando Alonso 8)

The team’s second successive double top 10 finish. Ocon started sixth but lost out to Norris at the start. Alonso started 13th, dropped to 15th and then fought back strongly. The next race is his home Spanish Grand Prix.

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ALPHATAURI (Pierre Gasly 10, Yuki Tsunoda 15)

Gasly claimed the final point after a difficult race struggling for pace and grip, passing Sainz at the end. Tsunoda had similar difficulties.

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ASTON MARTIN (Sebastian Vettel 13, Lance Stroll 14)

Vettel started 10th, Stroll 17th. The German did a long stint on the medium tyres. He was asked to let Stroll past him on fresh tyres and did so, but the Canadian was unable to get close to the points and ultimately gave the place back.

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ALFA ROMEO (Antonio Giovinazzi 12, Kimi Raikkonen retired)

Raikkonen collided with Giovinazzi on the opening lap, blaming himself and becoming the sole retirement. The incident brought out the safety car as marshals cleared up debris. Alfa, yet to score a point this season, failed to overturn a penalty from the previous race that cost them points.

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WILLIAMS (George Russell 16, Nicholas Latifi 18)

A promising 11th place start for Russell turned into a nightmare as the car proved tricky to handle when chasing others in gusty conditions. Latifi was passed by Haas’s Schumacher.

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HAAS (Mick Schumacher 17, Nikita Mazepin 19)

Mazepin collected a five second penalty for ignoring blue warning flags as Perez tried to pass.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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