Portuguese Grand Prix 2020 first practice: live updates from Algarve

Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen drives during the first practice session at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on October 23, 2020 in Portimao ahead of the Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix - AFP /JORGE GUERRERO Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen drives during the first practice session at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on October 23, 2020 in Portimao ahead of the Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix - AFP /JORGE GUERRERO 

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Red Bull’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen drives during the first practice session at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on October 23, 2020 in Portimao ahead of the Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix – AFP /JORGE GUERRERO 

11:28 AM

FP1 – Someone in the wall or gravel?

Not quite. Kvyat brings out the yellow flags and ends up facing the wrong direction, causing a cautionary period in sector one. He gets it going and in the right direction in the end. Looks like he lost it at the lowest speed and at the apex at turn three. That has happened an awful lot today. 

11:24 AM

FP1 – Hamilton complains of left graining

He’s running on the medium tyres and Bottas — on a similar stint length — is having similar problems on the front. Could we be moving into the realms of a marginal two-stop race? Let’s hope so…

11:21 AM

FP1 – 10 minutes to go

As Raikkonen spins at the hairpin turn five. It looked pretty inelegant, I have to say. 

11:16 AM

FP1 – Order with 14 mins remaining

  1. BOT
  2. HAM
  3. VER
  4. LEC
  5. ALB
  6. SAI
  7. PER
  8. RIC
  9. GAS
  10. VET
  11. NOR
  12. KVY
  13. MAG
  14. STR
  15. RAI
  16. GRO
  17. GIO
  18. RUS
  19. OCO
  20. LAT

Two Mercedes, two Red Bulls and a Ferrari in the top six! It’s like 2018 all over again. 

11:12 AM

FP1 – Gasly told to box because of an issue

Not ideal but if you want to have an issue then 20 minutes before the end of first practice isn’t the worst time. 

Meanwhile, Bottas has pipped Hamilton to top spot again. This time by the slightly larger margin of 0.339s. Verstappen now up to third, 0.842s behind Bottas. That’s looking a bit more like normal. 

11:08 AM

FP1 – Hamilton goes quickest

0.143s ahead of Bottas. Verstappen, meanwhile, is back out there on the hard tyres. He’s now up to 12th, just as his team-mate Albon moves up to third. A second off the pace. 

11:07 AM

Speed trap data

11:06 AM

FP1 – Bottas and Stroll nearly come together in the final corner

Bottas was finishing off a hot lap towards the inside, Stroll was on the outside and looked to be letting him through but no… he wasn’t. It looked close from the onboard on Bottas’s car but would like to see a replay of that…

11:03 AM

FP1 – Bottas pops up to first

Just 0.035s ahead of Hamilton. Leclerc 0.162s back. I don’t think this session is going to tell us too much, merely giving us a small indication of who looks okay and who is struggling. 

11:00 AM

FP1 – Not much running for Verstappen in the last 30 minutes or so

He went out for a fair few laps early on but has only done 13 laps, the fewest of anyone so far. Down in 19th, too. I expect they’re making some significant changes to his set-up. We’re a few laps into the medium tyre running after an hour or so of using exclusively hard tyres. 

10:57 AM

FP1 – Track slipperiness update

Yes, still slippy. Latifi and Grosjean having some off-track moments. Hamilton still leads the way from Leclerc and Bottas. 

10:53 AM

A few fans about this weekend, too

Which is nice to see. The total number has been reduced but still a decent amount should be present throughout the weekend. 

10:49 AM

FP1 – A bit of a lull at the moment, so here’s the order

  1. HAM
  2. LEC
  3. BOT
  4. SAI
  5. GAS
  6. VET
  7. ALB
  8. PER
  9. NOR
  10. RIC
  11. KVY
  12. GRO
  13. STR
  14. MAG
  15. OCO
  16. RAI
  17. GIO
  18. LAT
  19. RUS
  20. VER

10:42 AM

Plenty of this going on at the moment

10:36 AM

FP1 – Having said that… Leclerc now goes quickest, just 0.035s ahead of Hamilton

Ferrari are, perhaps, just starting to get on top of their problems. At least until we go to a circuit that has any significantly long straights…

10:35 AM

FP1 – Hamilton quickest now

A 1.20.165s, 0.2s ahead of Gasly. Charles Leclerc has a spin and just dips his rear tyres into the gravel. He’ll be able to get out, though, and he does just that. He’s currently running third, just ahead of Vettel. 

10:31 AM

FP1 – Running order with one hour remaining

Leclerc has knocked Sainz off top spot. 

  1. LEC
  2. BOT
  3. SAI
  4. HAM
  5. GAS
  6. GRO
  7. ALB
  8. VET
  9. OCO
  10. RAI
  11. MAG
  12. GIO
  13. NOR
  14. LAT
  15. RUS
  16. STR
  17. VER
  18. RIC
  19. KVY
  20. PER

10:25 AM

FP1 – Bottas and Hamilton into second and third now

A second or so off Sainz’s time. Bottas did not look entirely at peace with the car on the lap, though, and that has been a theme of this session so far. It’s a new track surface and fairly slippery. 

10:23 AM

FP1 – Bottas lining up the first Mercedes hot lap

I’m sure it’ll be quickest by about a second or something… Hamilton also on his first hot lap but is 2.1s slower than Bottas on his first run. Maybe this won’t be quickest from Bottas.

He goes third, actually, 4.742s off the pace. Guess it’s going to take a while to really get up to speed. Nobody is within 2.5s of Sainz as we stand. This initial period is all about acclimatisation for the drivers and teams. 

10:19 AM

FP1 – Order so far

This will not tell you anything, as only four cars have set a time. But here we go…

  1. SAI 1.20.696
  2. VER 1.23.309
  3. RUS 1.28.434
  4. VET 1.30.462

10:18 AM

Hulkenberg in the house

What chance of him finding a drive for 2021? Haas? Red Bull? Alfa Romeo?

10:16 AM

FP1 – Verstappen spins!

Nothing major, though, heading out of turn four he gets it the wrong way around, losing the back end. That will not have done wonders for his front tyres. He complains, like Sainz, that his car is like a drift car. 

10:13 AM

FP1 – Not sure if Sainz is testing new parts here

He’s now on his seventh lap on the hard tyres and has gone quicker still with a 1.21.497. Only other drivers to set timed laps are Verstappen and Vettel. 

10:10 AM

FP1 – Sainz going around on a decent sized initial run

Five laps so far on the hard tyres and he’s quickest with a 1.22.183s. He’s complaining of how little grip there is on the circuit, comparing it to Tokyo Drift. 

10:05 AM

FP1 – 84 minutes to go

A handful of cars out early for their installation laps. In fact, only Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas have not been out so far. Sainz currently leads the way with a 1.30.401 but only he and Vettel have set a timed lap so far. 

10:02 AM

FP1 begins!

90 minutes to go. 

10:00 AM

We’re nearly ready to go

Think I’m looking forward to this practice session more than any other track this season. 

09:50 AM

Current constructor standings

It’s not very tight at the top but it is in the middle. That third spot is hotly contested, with Renault coming into form in the past few races. 

09:41 AM

What will a lap onboard at this track be like?

Well, here’s one in virtual form. It gives you a decent impression, I’d say. 

09:36 AM

More on Grosjean and Magnussen leaving Haas

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Including reaction from both drivers and team principal Guenther Steiner. Read the whole article here.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»202″>Including reaction from both drivers and team principal Guenther Steiner. Read the whole article here. 

Haas F1's French driver Romain Grosjean attends the official press conference ahead of the Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix at the Algarve international circuit in Portimao on October 22, 2020. - AFP/RUDY CAREZZEVOLI Haas F1's French driver Romain Grosjean attends the official press conference ahead of the Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix at the Algarve international circuit in Portimao on October 22, 2020. - AFP/RUDY CAREZZEVOLI 

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Haas F1’s French driver Romain Grosjean attends the official press conference ahead of the Portuguese Formula One Grand Prix at the Algarve international circuit in Portimao on October 22, 2020. – AFP/RUDY CAREZZEVOLI 

09:33 AM

What happened the last time F1 raced in Portugal?

Here’s a grainy YouTube video to refresh your memory. 

09:28 AM

Current driver standings after 11 of 17 rounds, top 10

 Only six rounds to go, the time has flown past. 

08:58 AM

Good morning F1 fans

And welcome to our coverage for practice for the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix. It’s the first edition of a Formula One race in Portugal since 1996 and we see F1 on a brand new circuit for the second time in 2020. The original calendar had a few new additions — Zandvoort in Holland and the Hanoi Street Circuit in Vietnam — so it will be good to see the cars on an unfamiliar circuit and with limited running data, as was the case at Mugello. The last time F1 cars ran here was over a decade ago, so that data is unlikely to be all that useful to the teams. 

The Autódromo do Algarve is an intriguing circuit with plenty of rolling corners, a couple of tighter ones and a long straight. If these current F1 cars weren’t such high-downforce mega beasts then I’d say we could be in for an interesting race. As it is we might just have to settle for the majesty of them wanging their way around the ups and downs at high speed. I guess that might not be so bad?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="What are the stories this weekend? Well firstly, Lewis Hamilton will be targeting his 92nd Grand Prix victory. Were he to achieve that — and let’s be honest it is by far the most likely result — he will become the most successful driver in F1 history on that metric, overtaking Michael Schumacher’s 91. When he scores his seventh world title this season (it’s really when not if at the moment…) he will be the de facto most successful F1 driver ever. Does that make him the greatest? No, but that is another debate for another time.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»236″>What are the stories this weekend? Well firstly, Lewis Hamilton will be targeting his 92nd Grand Prix victory. Were he to achieve that — and let’s be honest it is by far the most likely result — he will become the most successful driver in F1 history on that metric, overtaking Michael Schumacher’s 91. When he scores his seventh world title this season (it’s really when not if at the moment…) he will be the de facto most successful F1 driver ever. Does that make him the greatest? No, but that is another debate for another time. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Elsewhere on the grid, the long-standing partnership between Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen at Haas will be coming to an end after this season finishes, with both drivers not retained for 2021. Grosjean had been with the team since its inception in 2016 whilst Magnussen joined a year later. There was reasonable success for both drivers and the team in 2017 and 2018 but the last two years have been difficult in the extreme, especially this year.» data-reactid=»237″>Elsewhere on the grid, the long-standing partnership between Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen at Haas will be coming to an end after this season finishes, with both drivers not retained for 2021. Grosjean had been with the team since its inception in 2016 whilst Magnussen joined a year later. There was reasonable success for both drivers and the team in 2017 and 2018 but the last two years have been difficult in the extreme, especially this year.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Where will both men end up? The number of available seats for next year is quite limited, so there is a good chance but will leave the F1 grid. It wouldn't be the worst thing if Magnussen followed in his father's footsteps and going into endurance racing. What it means, though, is that those drivers without confirmed seats (Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Callum Ilott) could be quite keen to move to the American team for 2021.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»238″>Where will both men end up? The number of available seats for next year is quite limited, so there is a good chance but will leave the F1 grid. It wouldn’t be the worst thing if Magnussen followed in his father’s footsteps and going into endurance racing. What it means, though, is that those drivers without confirmed seats (Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Callum Ilott) could be quite keen to move to the American team for 2021.