2020 Portuguese Grand Prix – Friday

Valtteri Bottas emerged fastest after Friday Practice for 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix. (Image credit: LAT Images)

Valtteri Bottas emerged fastest after two eventful Friday Practice sessions for the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix, as drivers got to grips with the Algarve International Circuit and a Pirelli prototype test. 

in two contrasting sessions as drivers learned their way around the circuit and its very limits, Bottas quietly claimed the fastest times across both sessions without dominating as Max Verstappen featured in the top three across FP1 and FP2 despite a collision in the latter.

Pirelli also threw a 2020 prototype tyre test during the opening 30 minutes of FP2 so here is the full story behind Friday Practice for the 2020 Portuguese GP.

 

FP1

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Antonio Giovinazzi was the first driver to hit the track as drivers soon struggled with track limits, as Carlos Sainz discovered to his cost on various occasions with deleted lap times in the opening minutes, before eventually setting a 1m 20.696.

Kimi Raikkonen and Alex Albon soon saw times deleted before Charles Leclerc went top with a 1m 20.410 just before Giovinazzi ran wide, only for Lewis Hamilton to go quicker just 33 minutes into the session before improving to 1m 19.526 on his second flier.

FP1 overall saw plenty of running with Alpha Tauri’s Daniil Kvyat reporting graining on his mediums after a couple of laps, as Bottas moved top in 62nd minute with a 1m 19.491 only for Hamilton to eventually improve to an eventual 1m 18.749.

Bottas however bettered that time just a minute later with a session-topping 1m 18.410 to finish fastest ahead of Hamilton by 0.339s with Max Verstappen, Leclerc, Alex Albon, Sainz, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly completing the top ten.

Further down the order, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll finished his first session back in 15th position, following a positive Coronavirus test which kept him out of the Eifel GP weekend.

 

FP2

Pirelli held a 30 minute 2021 prototype tyre test in the opening half hour of FP2 with Raikkonen leading the drivers out onto track with the aim of all drivers staying on track throughout that period.

Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton however were amongst those who didn’t last the entire period following a mixture of spins and flat spots.

Verstappen eventually emerged fastest in the prototype tyre test with a 1m 21.575, just ahead of Bottas by 0.087s, as Leclerc, Perez and Lando Norris rounded out the top five.

Focus immediately switched back to typical FP2 running afterwards with Gasly and Albon finding their times deleted for exceeding track limits, whilst Vettel suffered a spin at Turn 14 before managing to continue on his way.

Bottas soon proceeded to set a 1m 17.940 which eventually was unbeaten throughout remainder of the session featuring two red flags.

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Gasly caused the first stoppage just a minute after Bottas’ session-topping flier when his Alpha Tauri suddenly caught alight at the rear, bringing the session to a 16 minute halt as marshals put out the fire before removing the car.

Hamilton had struggled to find space for a flying lap on soft tyres just before the red flag and immediately set a 1m 19.308 to go sixth fastest, just moments before a collision between Verstappen and Lance Stroll triggered the second stoppage.

Stroll was on the first of two consecutive flying laps when he came across and passed Verstappen through the final two corners, unaware that the Dutchman was preparing for a flier which he soon began with inside line into Turn One as Stroll cut across on exit from outside line and got his right rear clipped by Verstappen to send him into the gravel.

Stewards post-session decided that no further action was necessary and determined that the collision was “a result of a misunderstanding” between both drivers.

After a 17 minute delay, the session resumed with several drivers opting for flying laps due to just seven minutes left of the session as Bottas topped the day from Verstappen and Lando Norris, as the Brit produced a superb last lap to snatch third on the timing sheet.

Leclerc, Sainz, Vettel, Gasly, Hamilton, Esteban Ocon and Albon rounded out the top ten with Williams’ George Russell in a surprise 11th place, although the timing sheet isn’t totally representative due to a mixture of red flags and drivers struggling to extract time in their fastest laps.

 

Results

FP1

Position Driver Team Time
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m 18.410
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.339
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.781
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.899
5 Alex Albon Red Bull + 0.955
6 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 1.031
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point + 1.497
8 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.544
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault + 1.648
10 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri + 1.714
11 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 1.790
12 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.797
13 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri + 1.868
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 2.436
15 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 2.544
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 2.599
17 Romain Grosjean Haas + 2.759
18 George Russell Williams + 2.964
19 Esteban Ocon Renault + 3.263
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 3.644

 

FP2 

Position Driver Team Time
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m 17.940
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.595
3 Lando Norris Ferrari + 0.803
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.898
5 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 1.173
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 1.235
7 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri + 1.238
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 1.368
9 Esteban Ocon Renault + 1.556
10 Alex Albon Red Bull + 1.703
11 George Russell Williams + 1.881
12 Sergio Perez Racing Point + 1.961
13 Daniel Ricciardo Renault + 2.047
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 2.525
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 2.550
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 2.740
17 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri + 2.789
18 Romain Grosjean Haas + 2.927
19 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 3.043
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 3.456

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