2020 Portuguese GP - Portimao
We come to the circuit of Portimao Portugal, with Rebull clearly on the up and Mercedes seemly stagnating as they typically do at this stage of each previous seasons. With six races to go, Hamilton can feel Verstapenn begin to apply pressure as Redbull typically do at the close of each previous seasons.
This is the first wildcard opportunity for Mercedes to close the constructors championship. And for Hamilton to set a new record for the most wins in F1. The battle for second place in the drivers championship also gets more interesting, as Verstapenn threatens to close up and pass Bottas to seize the runners up position from a lacklustre Bottas [mainly due to poor luck]. Bottas would need to be on his best form for the rest of the season or face the embarrassment of falling to 3rd in the championship. A situation that would definitely invite criticism from all quarters.
The battle for fourth in the drivers championship is equally close, with Ricciado surging clear with a good 10 points lead. With six races to go, there is all to fight for, for Perez in 5th at 68 points through to Leclerc in 8th position with 63 points. In the constructors, the fight for 3rd is even closer, with Racing Point leading the way with 120 points from very closely bunched 4th and 5th placed Mclaren 116 points and Renault 114 points.
The Portimao circuit have all the hallmarks to produce an eventful race weekend. It is undulating on the straights with crazy slopes into corners like the Nordschleife, fast flowing corners like Spa, a couple of tight chichanes like Monaco and likely to be smooth and less grippy like Sochi. Like Mugello, Portimao is a very wide track, hence overtaking shall be just as easy as was seen in Mugello.
This track was constructed in 2008, hence this is the first and probably the last time that F1 shall stage a race on this track for the foreseeable future. Which makes this race equally as historic as Mugello. The winner of this race may well go down in history as the first and only driver to win a race in Portimao in a F1 car.
This track is likely to be a true test for drivers and Pirelli tyres, especially if it rains. It is quite possible that existing tyre compounds may not hold up to the demands of this short 2.6km circuit. That said, Pirelli coped admirably with the little known Nurburgring track, it should do very well here too.