WATCH: Portuguese Grand Prix is expected to be another high octane race
JOHANNESBURG - Race 3 of the 2021 season is upon us, and boy, we are expecting a doozy.
There is no rain predicted for Sunday's race at 4pm, so there will be none of the shenanigans this weekend associated with a wet track. Still, the Algarve International Circuit is a brute of a track. Wide and undulating, it often leaves driver's blind as they enter corners, leaving much to memory, rhythm and skill.
Overtaking is expected, especially at the two DRS zones, the first of which terminates at the first corner on the main straight, and the second at Torre Vip.
Ferrari and McLaren are also expected to do well here, building on their recent good form at the previous Emilia Romagna and Bahrain GPs. If either of the Red Bulls, or Mercedes fail to snaffle up all of the podium steps, one can expect either Charles Leclerc, Carlos sainz, Lando Norris and the embattled Daniel Ricciardo to stand alongside the winner. And no one knows who that will be as we head into the weekend.
Max Verstappen will certainly be buoyant after his triumph a fortnight ago, but Lewis Hamilton rarely makes a mistake twice in a row and will no doubt be highly motivated to strike back by claiming an important victory at Portimão. Valtarri Bottas of Mercedes needs an improved weekend and hopefully he will also be pushing hard after a disastrous race day at Imola. And let's not forget Checo. Sergio Perez has been mightely fast in qualifying, and if the No 2 at Red Bull can get it together come the race, he might have the pace to also secure a second GP title.