The third Grand Prix of the season was again a battle between Red Bull Racing and Mercedes, but behind them also McLaren and Ferrari are doing well. On top of that, Alpine also seems to be recovering somewhat. These are the ratings for the teams from last weekend.
On Saturday, Mercedes occupied the front row of the grid with a pole position for Valtteri Bottas and on Sunday both drivers were on the podium. A good weekend for the German constructor that clearly prevailed over main competitor Red Bull Racing. The question arises, however, whether there wouldn’t have been more to come had Bottas been able to set a better pace in the race.
Red Bull Racing: 8
Max Verstappen’s team came to Portugal with several updates, but it remains to be seen whether they did their job properly. The gap that Red Bull Racing seemed to have on Mercedes was nowhere to be found this weekend. Verstappen was able to get the most out of the car with a second-place finish, with the team’s aggressive pit stop strategy also helping. Sergio Perez had his best result of the season and seems to be getting closer to his teammate.
After Daniel Ricciardo‘s disappointing qualifying, which did not pass Q1, the Australian was able to recover during the race with a ninth place. Lando Norris drove again a strong race and ended up fifth. McLaren continues where it ended last season and seems so far the biggest contender for third place in the Constructors’ Championship.
Carlos Sainz had a good start but dropped further and further down the field. Ferrari were hardly seen in Portugal. Still, Charles Leclerc managed to score points for the third race in a row and Ferrari is now fourth in the championship. The road back to the top seems to be slowly beginning.
Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon seem to feel more comfortable in the Alpine and for the second race in a row, both drivers score points. Ocon’s sixth place on the grid showed that the speed is good. Can the French team aim for podium finishes again this season?
The AlphaTauri seemed to have so much potential, but both Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda have only been able to convince at times this season. In Portugal, the team were barely able to get a foothold. Gasly did manage to get a point, but his teammate had a lacklustre race at the back.
Last season the team was fighting for third place, but the speed is nowhere to be found this season. After qualifying, Sebastian Vettel managed Q3, but in the race, the pace was not great. Vettel and Lance Stroll ended up in a disappointing thirteenth and fourteenth place.
Things go wrong before the race has even started. At the start-finish Kimi Raikkonen runs into the back of teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, which means the end of the race for the Finn. Luckily Giovinazzi can continue his way and eventually drives to a deserving 12th place.
The biggest boost for Williams this season, they’re not the worst team on the grid anymore. In fact, the team seems to be making a strong comeback. The qualifying session for George Russell was sensational. Unfortunately, the pace in the race is not so good and points still seem to be a long way off.
What can we say, Haas has given up on 2021 and it will take a miracle for Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin to score points this season. Schumacher did manage to overtake Nicholas Latifi at the end of the race, but that resulted in no more than a seventeenth place. Mazepin shows his bad side again by holding up the then leading Sergio Perez during the race.