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Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso


Some of the remarkable performances – and struggles – on the pitch in the Algarve as Lando Norris’ strong start to the season continued, Fernando Alonso showed some of the old magic, and George Russell’s hopes for Williams points were wiped out.

Last updated: 02/05/21 20:03 pm

Lando Norris’ confidence in F1 at ‘all-time high’

Three races and the end of the drivers’ championship still reads: Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Lando Norris. Sunday’s fifth place for Norris at Portimao was the fourth race in a row either side of the winter break that the McLaren driver finished in the top five.

“Confidence is definitely at an all time high not only on the track but in the paddock, working in the team. They do a great job, so confidence in me and confidence in the team,” Norris told Simon Lazenby. by Sky F1.

“Things are going well, but they can quickly go in the wrong direction, so we have to keep working and keep pushing hard.

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso 24:48
Join Ted Kravitz in the Portimao paddock to collect the must-have stories of every Portuguese GP driver and team.

Join Ted Kravitz in the Portimao paddock to collect the must-have stories of every Portuguese GP driver and team.

“A few good laps, a lot of wheel-to-wheel action. It would have been nice to stay ahead of the Red Bulls because we’re there on merit, we ran past them, but we didn’t have the rhythm for Stay ahead. “

Alonso was finally able to “ extract the maximum ” from his Alpine

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso 0:45
Fernando Alonso made his way past Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren for ninth position with a nice pass.

Fernando Alonso made his way past Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren for ninth position with a nice pass.

Thirteenth on the grid, 15th at the end of the first lap, but a skyrocketing eighth place finish for Fernando Alonso, who said he enjoyed a “fun” Portuguese Grand Prix.

“We have taken a big step forward in performance since Imola,” he said. “I think in Bahrain I was more careful, in Imola I was so uncomfortable in the car with the conditions so I think this is the first race that I’m really getting the most out of. the car.”

The Spaniard made a number of passes, including Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz in the final laps. “I was upset after qualifying yesterday so the anger was probably on the right track today!” he told Nico Rosberg of Sky F1.

So is this pace typical of what we can expect for the rest of the Alpine season?

“I wish that was the real pace, we were here with Ferraris and McLarens, so yes we would like to keep it that way. But I still have work to do. [in qualifying] to start further. “

Charles Leclerc did not do a “ good job as a driver ”

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso

The only Ferrari to score points at the end with sixth place, but Charles Leclerc says his decision to start on the medium tire “was not a good decision” and contributed to what he personally felt like a weekend below normal.

“The mediums for us, only for us, we both struggled a lot. A lot of grain right away, we struggled a lot,” he told Sky F1.

“If I watch all weekend, I didn’t do a good job as a driver. I didn’t get the best out of the car just because I was very inconsistent.

“So today I did a good job, starting in eighth we couldn’t do much better, but looking at the full weekend I could have done a better job.”

Sergio Perez on Portimao ‘messy’ Sunday

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso 1:37
Sergio Perez got his best race result for Red Bull with fourth place, but was not entirely happy with his performance.

Sergio Perez got his best race result for Red Bull with fourth place, but was not entirely happy with his performance.

The Red Bull rider reckons his first shot with Lando Norris after restarting the race likely cost him a battle with the top three, after eventually finishing adrift in fourth position.

“I thought Lando was totally out of bounds of the track so I didn’t fight the position hard enough, thinking he would give me back, so I misjudged this one,” said Perez. “It took me a few laps to pass Lando and that created a gap with the leaders and out of the race by then.”

Perez also admitted he still felt ‘far away’ from feeling at home in the three-race Red Bull car in his new career with the team.

“ One of the toughest races, ” says George Russell

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso 5:30 p.m.
The two young British drivers Lando Norris and George Russell sit down with Rachel Brookes to reflect on how they started the season ahead of the Portuguese GP.

The two young British drivers Lando Norris and George Russell sit down with Rachel Brookes to reflect on how they started the season ahead of the Portuguese GP.

The high winds wreaked havoc on the Williams team, whose car struggled in particular in gusty conditions. George Russell entered Sunday hoping for points from a slim 11th place on the grid, but those prospects quickly collapsed in the race.

“It was a survival race that just tried to keep the car on the track,” revealed the Briton. “I couldn’t fight with anyone because I was so focused on keeping the car on the track.

“We know how tough our car is when the wind picks up, and we’ve seen it over this weekend when the wind was strong we were slow, when the wind calms down we can do a performance like we did yesterday. “

‘Changing a switch’ on the steering wheel caused an Alfa Romeo collision

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso

Portuguese GP: race day highs and lows of Portimao with Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso 1:40
Kimi Raikkonen comes out of the Portuguese Grand Prix in the second round to bring out the safety car.

Kimi Raikkonen comes out of the Portuguese Grand Prix in the second round to bring out the safety car.

Kimi Raikkonen’s Portuguese Grand Prix was brought to a halt after hitting his teammate Alfa Romeo’s back at the end of the first lap, in an incident that knocked out the Safety Car.

So what happened?

“My mistake. I was checking something on the steering wheel, changing a switch,” Kimi explained, following Antonio Giovinazzi. “I made a mistake on the last corner and had to change it in the straight again and I just got into it, so really my mistake.”

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