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Portugal GP: Race team notes - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
02/05/2021

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Portuguese Grand Prix by half a minute with a one-stop strategy from second on the grid, moving from the P Zero Yellow medium to the P Zero White hard tyre on lap 37.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who finished second and third respectively, intended to run the same strategy but then stopped right at the end to put on the P Zero Red soft tyre and fight for the extra championship point for fastest lap - with Bottas coming out on top after Verstappen's final lap was deleted for a track limits infringement.

Only one other competitor stopped twice: Haas driver Nikita Mazepin, who also used all three compounds.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez, who started and finished fourth, ran an unusual strategy by going from the medium to the P Zero Red soft with just 15 laps to go.

The highest-placed finisher to start on the soft tyre was McLaren's Lando Norris, who finished fifth with a soft-medium strategy after starting seventh on the grid.

Temperatures were warmer than they had been on previous days, peaking at 22 degrees ambient and 40 degrees of track temperature.

Mario Isola: "The warmer weather led to increased wear on the softer compounds compared to previous days, which meant that drivers had to manage their tyres more. This additionally shifted the emphasis towards the hard compound, also because of track evolution providing a bit more grip than before. All three tyres stood out for different reasons. The hard tyre was key here this afternoon in these conditions, which is why it was used by most drivers for the final stint, including Lewis Hamilton, who drove a perfect race. The soft, although used least in the race - and mainly for short opening stints as expected - was also run for nearly 40 laps by Lance Stroll, while Sergio Perez completed a mammoth stint on the mediums for the bulk of the race as part of an unusual yet effective strategy."

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