Portimão (dpa) – Lewis Hamilton can turn the Formula 1 debut in Portimão into a historic event.
If the 35-year-old Briton wins the Portuguese Grand Prix next Sunday at the premiere of the best motorsport class at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, he will be the only record holder with the most Grand Prix victories – it would be Hamilton’s 92nd race success. His last success at the Nürburgring tied him to Michael Schumacher’s 91 victories in the category.
“He did quite well this year on tracks that were not on the original calendar,” Formula 1 said on its website, referring to Hamilton’s victories at Mugello and the Nürburgring. In total, the Mercedes superstar has won seven of the eleven races to date on the way to his seventh World Cup triumph.
The 4.7 kilometer circuit in the south of Portugal is unknown territory for Hamilton, just like everyone else. There has never been a Grand Prix there. The track is also hailed as the Algarve’s roller coaster for its profile. In 2009 test drives took place there at least once.
In theory Hamilton can already claim the title in the constructors’ championship with the Silver Arrows in Portimão. For the 12th of the 17 races of the season, the lead is 180 points over Red Bull.
After the Portuguese run, the cushion should be 220 points – a maximum of 44 points can be achieved per Grand Prix. This means that Mercedes will at least take first and third place and Red Bull should go almost empty-handed, which is extremely unlikely given the previous performance.