Grand Prix 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

For the first time since 1996 Formula One racing returns to Portugal. It maybe just nostalgia talking but I've always had fond memories of the Estoril circuit and seem to remember it producing some decent races. It was dropped from the calendar after 1996 due to an ongoing argument between the race organisers and the FIA regarding the poor standard of facilities at the track. Despite being pencilled in to return in 1997 and 1998 the work went undone and F1 never returned.

For me, the classic Portuguese Grand Prix will always bring this to mind:

Moving on to 2020 and we find ourselves at the Algarve International Circuit. Classed as an FIA grade one circuit from it's completion in 2008 the track has been used to host a variety of motorsports from Superbikes, Moto GP, the A1 GP series and the FIA GT series but this will be the first time that F1 cars have turned a wheel at the track.

Below is a Youtube video of a lap of the track in an Aston Martin Vantage. What stands out for me is the change of gradient. F1 has often sought out track layouts that have gradient changes and F1 fans have often longed for a race at the famous Laguna Seca raceway because of the corkscrew corner. I have to say this looks like the closest we'll see in F1 to that sort of track design. Given that the Vantage in the video features a higher seating position than an F1 drivers eye view and yet, many of the corners are blind due to the rise in the gradient and the sudden fall away, the blind entries will be even more difficult for F1 drivers to navigate. I expect a number of safety cars due to the nature of the circuit.

To add to the problems that the track layout may cause the drivers, the 10 day weather report for the region suggests that it may rain on the Friday and on race day.

What ever happens, I've not looked forward to an F1 race this much for a long, long time and my one takeaway from this Covid affected season is that new and interesting circuits need to make their way onto the calendar each year. Let's hope we are not left disappointed.


Race Winner


Champion Elect
It’s only free practice and Max Verstappen is going for an overtake up the inside.View attachment 14004
that for me was ego. that was verstappen letting stroll through assuming stroll would be ending his push lap as max would start. then you have a mexican stand off where both at fault. neither wanted to give way max stuck it down the inside which was ambitious but then stroll was ambitious as you werent going to be able to stick it around the outside

im abit confused as to why stroll was doing 2 push laps. considering nobody does this. it always push, cool down, charge batteries, push


Champion Elect
very odd qualifying. i couldn't tell you the last time I saw a pole sitter actively pick the slower tyre for Q3. or how on the 1st run in Q3 they were 6 tenths slower. bottas 1:16.3 in Q2 1:16.9 1st Q3 run

very impressive from Lewis today. im going to say i think he is greatest qualifier in F1 history maybe dare i say better than senna. because week in week out on that final pressure run. he always finds time that his rivals cant find
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Champion Elect
Petrov will not be a steward as his father has been shot dead in Russia

I was gonna say if that incident between Stroll and Verstappen had involved Hamilton instead would he have been punished more ?


Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
It’s only free practice and Max Verstappen is going for an overtake up the inside.View attachment 14004
I have just discovered what Verstappen said in his radio message, also his subsequent comment that he doesn’t care if people are offended.
What a disgrace, I wasn’t a fan but recognised his skill.
I’m still not a fan, recognise his skill but I now believe him to be an odious individual.

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
P1 - in the latter stages of the race, the only way that there was going to be a genuine race was to do something different between Hamilton and Bottas.

By insisting that they stick to the same strategy (in spite of Bottas asking for a different strategy), they essentially decided that they were going to cruise to the end. (The garbage that came out that "Mercedes don't do things that way, was instantly contradicted by what has happened in previous races!)


Race Winner
I think if Bottas got the soft tyres on his pit he coul only plus one point for fast lap
but finish order would be same.
This is not to criticize Bottas, but just a statement of the situation in this race.


Race Winner
After information began to appear that Russell might lose his place for the next season,
there were reproaches in the direction of Mercedes that They would not take the talented Russell instead of Bottas.
And it is because Mercedes are satisfied with the calm situation in the team and Hamilton's dominance...
I agree that Russell is very talented, but not the fact that Bottas is so much worse than Russell
and young talant will make more pressure on the Hamilton.


If Bottas wasen't playing "blocker" for Hamilton all these past race's who knows where we would be, and lap 19 proved to all of us with our eyes open that "blocker" is the only position or reason that Bottas is on the track. Merceds "code" to let Hamilton pass is Hamilton stating "My left front is going away quick" (or something to that effect) and you immediately see Bottas get out of Hamilton's way.
Sad really.


Champion Elect
Mad few opening laps. ive never seen someone blast past the mercedes in the way sainz did & it was fun almost Donington 93 seeing 1 driver finding grip nobody else had. for me i dont want to call it boring because it wasnt entertaining but it was absolute Hamilton masterclass at a perfectly apt time to break the great Schumacher record. that as we all said thought 5 yrs ago was extremely unrealistic

but for im confused at Bottas pace 1st 15 laps he looked good 3 secs ahead & then Lewis said his tyres were dead & then went to another level. he closed down the gap with ease overtook bottas & won by 30 secs. what was wrong with Bottas to lose a net 32/33 seconds. 22 of which were in the final stint. started the final stint 7 secs behind & ended it 29 secs behind also im as far from a bottas fan as you can get, shush at the back :D

also what the point of Mercedes hiring drivers if your ignore what they want. i had doubts 23 laps on softs wouldnt have lasted & it was a Lewis masterclass. i dont see the issue. in this current scenario if bottas wants softs give him softs. because if it fails its on him & not the team. with these weird conspiracies theories
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