Sebastian and Lance took on the challenging Portuguese Grand Prix and battled hard, fighting for points but narrowly falling short in a difficult outing for the team.
On the positive side, I will have some new parts on my car next week, which we feel are a step in the right direction.
“That was quite a busy and difficult race with a very long stint on the medium tyres. I do not think we could have done anything different with the strategy, but, overall, we did not have enough pace or consistency to hold onto the group fighting for points. On the positive side, I will have some new parts on my car next week, which we feel are a step in the right direction. But the real priority is to have a clean Saturday, which is the key to a better Sunday.”
We will learn and arrive in Barcelona in a stronger position.
“It was not our best day, but I think we were a bit stronger in race conditions than we were yesterday. Ultimately, a challenging Saturday meant that we were on the back foot today. The car felt better balanced in the race though, and we made up several places in the first half, but we just lacked that little bit more to make it into the points. If we had had a slightly better qualifying, points could have been possible. However, we will not dwell on today too much, but we will learn what we can and make improvements ahead of next weekend. We will arrive in Barcelona in a stronger position.”
We are disappointed not to have scored points, but the Spanish Grand Prix is next weekend and we have a chance to correct that.
“Lance drove a good race from a less than optimal grid slot, never put a foot wrong, and ended up finishing 14th in a race that contained very little attrition. Towards the end, he was running just behind Sebastian, but on fresher tyres, so we asked Sebastian to let Lance past so that he could have a go at trying to catch and pass the cars ahead, to give us an outside chance of nicking a point. In the end, Lance was not able to do that so, very sportingly, he gave the place back to Sebastian on the final lap. Obviously, we are disappointed not to have been able to score any points today, but the good news is that the Spanish Grand Prix is next weekend, so we have a chance to correct that in just a few days’ time.”
With a rollercoaster layout and limited data to pull upon, the Portuguese Grand Prix promises to be both eventful and unpredictable. Our strategy engineers have analysed historic data and more recent car performance to predict the key factors that could determine the Grand Prix, presented in partnership with our Title Partner Cognizant.
Cognizant's keys to the race
Usually one of the easiest circuits on the calendar for overtaking, particularly on the long run down to Turn One. In fact, 49 of the 55 overtakes (89%) made in last year’s Grand Prix came at the opening corner.
DRS plays a vital role here, but changes have been made for this year’s race. The start/finish line’s DRS zone is reduced by 165m, which could impact passing into Turn One. But a secondary zone has been added on the straight between Turns Four and Five, with the latter corner already a hotspot for overtaking.
Portimão is the opposite of Imola when it comes to track limits – it has sweeping expanses of smooth run-off. While Imola is particularly punishing, so is Portimão – except it’s the stewards who tend to be kept busy. In 2020, 194 laps were deleted for infringements – that compares to 63 in Imola last time out. While there were no Safety Cars in last year’s race, there were three red flags in practice, so expect incidents!
A lap of Portimão requires commitment, whether it’s approaching high-speed blind crests, finding the limits in long-sweeping corners, or carrying maximum speeds into the long straights. Our official Cyber Security Partner SentinelOne presents the key technical facts and stats behind a single lap of the track.
Unlocking the lap
The majority of the 969m start/finish line opens the lap at Portimão, with drivers carrying significant speed into a tricky, bowl-shaped right-hander at Turn One. With plenty of opportunity for slipstreaming, it’s the key place to overtake – but also very easy to run wide and pick up a stewards’ warning.
It’s simple to follow Turn Two’s flat-out kink by going wide into Turn Three, Lagos. It’s the slowest corner on the track – and is unusually wide for such a big stop. The tight and technical second and third sectors mean most battles are usually resolved by Turn Five.
Unlocking the lap
Portimão is notable for its swoops and dives. On average, tracks feature gradient changes of around 8% – the steepest gradient at Portimão is a 16% downhill slope, with the track sweeping steeply downhill between Turns Eight and Nine and 11 and 12.
Sagres corner (Turn 14) requires a late turn-in followed by a wide exit is key as drivers sweep into the final corner, Galp. This turn starts off blind, but drivers can gather speed through the apex all the way through to the finish line. It also takes precision to excel here on an in-lap – with the pit entry placed at a tricky angle.
Expect top speeds of over 352km/h (219mph) on the main straight.
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