Formula 1 goes to Portimao, Portugal, for the third round of the Formula 1 championship. The Portuguese venue sees Sir Lewis Hamilton closing a free practice session on top for the first time in 2021. Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen shared the leadership of all the free practice sessions since the start of the season; and Bottas is on top again in FP1, while the seven-time world champion manages to clock the fifth-fastest time overall.
The surface of the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is very slippery, thanks to the new tarmac, and wind didn't make things easier in the afternoon, but Sir Lewis managed to clock the fastest time overall, with Max shortly following him behind in second, with a 0.143s gap.
"It’s a little grippier here this year but it was very windy today so I think everybody was struggling with balance and sliding around - said Hamilton at the end of the day - not a massive amount of track evolution between the sessions – as it got hotter, the track got slower. This morning seemed to be a little bit better, then this afternoon it got warmer and windier so it seemed to make it harder for people to find time and work on their balance".
Surely things will be tight in qualifying, as just six-tenths are separating the top 10 drivers.
"I think it’ll be a close one this weekend - Hamilton admitted - I don’t know what Max’s lap was like in FP2 but mine wasn’t perfect so we definitely have some time to come from the car and improvements to make. But I’m sure Red Bull have too. It was close, as it has been the last couple of races, so I’m sure it’ll be an exciting qualifying and race in store".