Some drivers truly flourished on F1’s first-ever visit to Portimao, while others will be relieved to have a quick-fire race coming up at Imola to try and right the wrongs from a forgettable weekend.

Here’s how we rated each driver in F1’s Portuguese Grand Prix…

Lewis Hamilton (Qualified 1st, finished 1st) - 10

Hamilton turned around his practice pace deficit to beat Bottas to pole with a strategic masterstroke in Q3, before making up for an initial poor first lap to dominate proceedings and crush his rivals with a comprehensive drive to a record 92nd F1 victory. A maximum 26-point haul with the fastest lap bonus point capped off a perfect day for the Briton.

Valtteri Bottas (Qualified 2nd, finished 2nd) - 6

It all looked so good for Bottas heading into qualifying but a narrow defeat to Hamilton on Saturday was followed up by a sucker punch of a loss in the race as the Finn trailed his teammate by a huge 25-second margin at the chequered flag, despite leading the early stages.

Max Verstappen (Qualified 3rd, finished 3rd) - 7

Was once again Mercedes’ closest challenger in qualifying with a brilliant lap, but in the race a predicted fight for victory failed to materialise, as Verstappen struggled for pace and tyre warm up in the early stages and quickly faded out of contention. Ultimately claimed yet another podium for Red Bull as he got the most from a slightly scrappy weekend that began with a pointless practice clash with Stroll.

Charles Leclerc (Qualified 4th, finished 4th) - 10

Leclerc starred in qualifying to seal a superb fourth on the grid, which he duly converted into a strong fourth place finish to record his best result since the 70th Anniversary GP back in August. Leclerc continues to extract every ounce of potential and more from Ferrari’s improving SF1000, unlike teammate Vettel.

Pierre Gasly (Qualified 9th, finished 5th) - 10

Gasly turned in one of his best drives of the season for AlphaTauri on a weekend where speculation over the second seat at Red Bull intensified. Recovering from the setback of Friday’s fire, the Frenchman took a solid P9 in qualifying and was one of the few drivers to get the best out of the Soft tyres in an electric first stint that opened the door to an excellent charge to fifth.

Carlos Sainz (Qualified 8th, finished 6th) - 9

Sainz enjoyed a brief cameo at the front of the field for the second time this year in Portugal after making a lightning-quick getaway, passing Red Bull’s Verstappen and the Mercedes duo in less than two laps. The Spaniard’s lead lasted just a handful of laps before the Mercedes pair and Verstappen hit back, but he turned in a strong drive amid some brilliant battles and pipped the recovering Perez on the final lap to snatch important points off Racing Point in the fight for P3.

Sergio Perez (Qualified 5th, finished 7th) - 9

Perez looked to capitalise on a great launch from fifth of the grid as he challenged Verstappen for third on the first lap but ended up facing the wrong way and up against the wall as the pair made slight contact. Having fallen to the very back, the Mexican pulled off a remarkable recovery charge to seventh, limiting the damage on a disappointing day for Racing Point and reminding potential suitors of his talent. Only loses a mark for picking up two reprimands across the weekend.

Esteban Ocon (Qualified 11th, finished 8th) - 8

A marathon opening stint on Mediums put Ocon in contention for points, with a late switch onto Softs helping him rise up to a strong eighth place finish ahead of Renault teammate Daniel Ricciardo on a weekend he showed some solid progress and helped his team bag some crucial points.

Daniel Ricciardo (Qualified 10th, finished 9th - 7

Ricciardo had hoped for a swashbuckling charge through the order after a mistake in qualifying left him 10th on the grid but in the end it was a race of damage limitation for the Australian, who struggled for performance on the Medium compound and could only take ninth in the end.

Sebastian Vettel (Qualified 15th, finished 10th) - 6

Vettel said before the race he wanted to end his Ferrari tenure with “dignity”, but it proved to be another disappointing weekend for the struggling German. Half a second and 11 places behind teammate Leclerc in qualifying, Vettel managed to claim the final point on offer in a low-key drive to 10th.

Kimi Raikkonen (Qualified 16th, finished 11th) - 9

A great drive to 11th as Raikkonen narrowly missed out on what would have been a deserved points finish. The Finn’s stunning start and first lap was a thing of beauty as he carved past his rivals and move up to the dizzy heights of sixth, before things settled down and the true performance of his Alfa Romeo was exposed. Nevertheless, Raikkonen battled hard and did not fall down the order without a fight to show he ‘still has it’ at 41 years old.

Alex Albon (Qualified 6th, finished 12th) - 4

A rotten performance on a weekend Albon really needed to shine to put increasing doubts about his Red Bull future beyond the end of the year to bed. Slipped back from sixth as he struggled for grip early on and his tyre woes failed to improve after an early first stop left him battling in traffic. Two-stop strategy failed to pay off as he struggled to a really poor P12.

Lando Norris (Qualified 8th, finished 13th) - 8

For the second race in the row, Norris endured an unfortunate day in the office. Having run as high as third at one stage, the Briton’s race was undone on Lap 16 by a clumsy overtaking attempt made by Stroll, forcing Norris to pit with damage that left him trundling home in 13th.

George Russell (Qualified 14th, finished 14th) - 8

F1’s ‘Mr Saturday’ earned his reputation with another superb qualifying display to first made it into Q2 for the seventh time this year, and then outpace Ferrari’s Vettel for 14th. Russell ran inside the top 10 during the opening stint and probably deserved more than a P14 finish for his strong performance and race execution.

Antonio Giovinazzi (Qualified 17th, finished 15th) - 7

A decent drive from Giovinazzi, who did not have a working radio for the majority of Sunday’s 66-lap race. Early progress was ultimately undone as he slipped down the order to 15th while his teammate Raikkonen got much more out of the race.

Kevin Magnussen (Qualified 19th, finished 16th) - 6

Magnussen made up for qualifying behind teammate Grosjean by beating him in the race as the only driver to start on Hards. Rose up to 11th at one stage before pitting at half distance for Mediums on a strategy that was holding out for some drama which ultimately didn’t come.

Romain Grosjean (Qualified 18th, finished 17th) - 5

Grosjean had better pace than Magnussen in qualifying but ultimately finished behind his teammate after multiple track limits breaches saw him slapped with a five-second time penalty.

Nicholas Latifi (Qualified 20th, finished 18th) - 5

Latifi well off the pace of his teammate both in qualifying and the race as the Canadian struggled home to a low-key 18th at the flag, two laps down on race-winner Hamilton.

Daniil Kvyat (Qualified 13th, finished 19th) - 4

Kvyat is another driver under pressure to secure his future in F1 and his below-par performance in Portugal will have done little to ease such worries. While Gasly impressed, Kvyat slumped to a woeful 19th, partly thanks to a terrible start and opening lap.

Lance Stroll (Qualified 12th, DNF) - 3

Albon’s blushes were sparred ever so slightly by Stroll, who unquestionably endured the worst weekend of all on a rusty return from a positive COVID-19 test. Clashed with Verstappen at Turn 1 in practice and failed to learn from his mistake in the race with a wild, over-ambitious attempt to get past Norris that earned him a five-second time penalty. His penalty was doubled after repeated track limits violations, before Racing Point brought his horror show to an end by retiring his car in the closing stages.

 

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