Round three takes place in Portugal – there's only a one point difference in the F1 championship, so who will come out on top?
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There's lots to play for as Formula One heads to Portugal for Round 3 of the 2021 F1 season. Last time out in Imola heavy rain brought chaos as Max Verstappen reigned supreme in his 11th F1 career win. The championship is now down to one point in a brilliant battle between Verstappen and seven-time world champion, Sir Lewis Hamilton.

This time last year, it was Lewis who took the victory in his ninety-second Grand Prix win, passing Michael Schumacher’s total tally. But it's a new year with different tyre strategies and lots of hungry drivers in the mix.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the third round for the 2021 F1 season.

The track

The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve – known more colloquially as Portimao, after the port city it sits half an hour outside – joined the F1 calendar in 2020. It was also the very place that Ayrton Senna chose as his base when racing in Europe.

Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is 4.653 kilometres in length, has 15 corners in total, nine to the right and six to the left. The race on Sunday will include a total of 66 laps, with the race distance coming up to 306.826km.

TV schedule

SessionDateTime (AEST)Channel
Free Practice 1Friday8:30pmFox Sports 506 / Kayo
Free Practice 2Saturday12:00amFox Sports 506 / Kayo
Free Practice 3Saturday9:00pmFox Sports 506 / Kayo
QualifyingSunday12:00amFox Sports 506 / Kayo
RaceMonday12:00amFox Sports 506 / Kayo

2021 teams and drivers

Alfa RomeoKimi Räikkönen & Antonio Giovinazzi
Alpine (previously Renault)Fernando Alonso & Esteban Ocon
AlphaTauriPierre Gasly & Yuki Tsunoda
Aston Martin (previously Racing Point)Sebastian Vettel & Lance Stroll
FerrariCharles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz
HaasMick Schumacher & Nikita Mazepin
McLarenDaniel Ricciardo & Lando Norris
Mercedes-AMGLewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas
Red BullMax Verstappen & Sergio Perez
WilliamsGeorge Russell & Nicholas Latifi

Fast facts

Seventeen previous Portuguese Grands Prix have been held as a round of the World Championship. The first was all the way back in 1958 – the different circuits used include Circuito da Boavista, Monsanto, Estoril and Algarve.

From the seventeen previous Portuguese Grands Prix, there have been twelve different drivers standing on the top step. Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell share the record for most wins, at three each.

The largest win margin at this event came in 1959, when Stirling Moss won by over a lap, with the smallest in 1994, when Damon Hill won by 0.603 seconds.

Britain is the nation with the most podium finishes at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Nine of the seventeen Portuguese Grand Prix races have been won from pole position.

Our predictions

Who could have written that script for the last time around? A rare mistake from Lewis, epic battles in the mid-pack, crashes and a bit of tension between team-mates – let's hope for the a reenactment of that chaos in Portugal.

There's no doubt that Max will be fighting for back-to-back wins and our money is on him. He's fit, fast, will be feeling confident coming off the back of a sensational race last time out and he also scored a podium here last year. He'll obviously have his hands full with Lewis looking to create a stronger gap in that championship.

Look out for Bottas who may surprise in qualifying as he often has the potential to do. With a DNF hampering his championship (sitting in fifth), he'll be wanting to bag some points this weekend.

Ferrari has shown great pace so far this season which has been quite a surprise following a dismal 2020. Watch out for Charles Leclerc who finished fourth last year, and another to watch is Pierre Gasly, who managed a fifth-place result in Portugal in 2020.

Finally, can McLaren get another podium, and this time will it be our Dan? Fingers crossed.

Let us know your predictions heading into the weekend in the comments below.