Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Hamilton impressed by “massively challenging” Algarve circuit

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was impressed by the Autodromo do Algarve after Formula 1’s first day of practice at the Portuguese track.

However he said he will revert to an earlier set-up after his car’s balance felt “terrible” in the second practice session.

“It’s a difficult circuit,” said Hamilton after Friday’s running. “Massively challenging.

“The undulations are incredible. There’s a lot of places you just can’t see where you’re going. The exit of turn eight you’re looking at the sky for a period of time and you have no idea what’s beyond the hill. Also into 11 you’re coming in and you don’t know where you are, all of a sudden it arrives at you out of nowhere.

“So it’s very challenging. The surface is very smooth. You see a lot of people making mistakes and sliding and spinning so it’s not been an easy day.”

Hamilton said first practice “was probably the better session for me even though the car didn’t feel that great.

“Then we made some changes after this morning and it felt pretty terrible in second practice. So I need to take a few steps back, figure out where I went wrong with the session and where I can improve for tomorrow.”

The second practice session was disrupted by two red flags which caused lengthy interruptions. “They’re quite slow on the recoveries today so we ended up sitting in the garage for much, much longer,” said Hamilton. “We didn’t really great run plan in the second session. Today’s been difficult.”

The compact and twisty layout also made it tricky to find space to run a lap in clear air.

“It’s not easy,” said Hamilton. “Also because it’s really difficult to get the tyres in the window for the first lap here, even with the soft. They are hard tyres, this is the hardest range of tyres, on a circuit like this it should be expected I would say.

“But I think Q1 particularly there’ll be a lot of cars out there and it’ll be a dogfight to get position, get a clear lap. But that’s what we do. Everyone’s in the same boat.”

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2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    2 comments on “Hamilton impressed by “massively challenging” Algarve circuit”

    1. It looks like a fun track to drive. Kind of reminds me of Interlagos a bit and Sepang. I think overtaking could be easy on Sunday because of the fast final corner coupled with the long DRS zone.

    2. Nice track.. the only problem is see ( and Romain;) are the track limits in certain corners.. even with two wheels still on the curbs you will lose your lap when all wheels are over the white line.
      The problem is drivers feel the curbs and know where they are but do not see the white line. So an enormous number of laps were deleted. more then 70!
      That is not the way to go. Track limits are fine but you should be able to see them.

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