Max second in opening practice at Portimao

Published on 30 April 2021 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen started his Portuguese Grand Prix weekend with a second place in the opening practice session. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) was quickest around the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. Max’ Red Bull Racing team mate, Sergio Perez, completed the top three.

Bottas is the first driver to hit the track, soon followed by Callum Ilott in the Alfa Romeo. The latter youngster taking over FP1 duties from Alfa regular Antonio Giovinazzi.

Fifteen minutes into the session, Max makes his way out of the garage in his RB16B. He is on the pace from the start, clocking the second quickest time on his first flying lap, soon followed by an even quicker lap on the hard Pirelli tyres, propelling him to the top of the standings.

Soon after, Valtteri Bottas pips the Dutchman, before Max retaliates with a purple first and final sector to claim P1 again.

At the halfway mark, Max sits in second, after Bottas has set his best effort on the soft Pirelli tyres. Fifteen minutes later, both Max and Mercedes colleague Lewis Hamilton, join Bottas on the fastest Pirelli compound in an attempt to topple the Finn.

Despite clocking his best time of the session, Max stays in second, complaining about the tyres: “I can’t see where I’m going, there are so many vibrations in the tyres”, he tells the team.

In the closing stages, Max heads out once more but does not have enough time to set another lap time, meaning he finishes FP1 in second.

Contest GP Portugal: win a 1:4 scale model 2020 Max helmet!


Results first free practice Portugal:

1Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:19.648 31
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:19.673+0.025s23
3Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:19.846+0.198s22
4Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:19.884+0.236s27
5Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:19.967+0.319s32
6Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:20.444+0.796s31
7George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:20.529+0.881s29
8Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:20.635+0.987s26
9Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:20.680+1.032s27
10Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:20.800+1.152s27
11Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:20.894+1.246s29
12Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:20.995+1.347s31
13Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:21.090+1.442s28
14Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:21.303+1.655s31
15Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:21.381+1.733s25
16Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:21.405+1.757s31
17Callum IlottILOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:21.806+2.158s21
18Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:21.939+2.291s29
19Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:22.293+2.645s29
20Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari1:24.224+4.576s29