Portuguese GP: Bottas denies Hamilton pole by 0.007s

Valtteri Bottas denied Lewis Hamilton a 100th Formula 1 career pole as the Finn topped qualifying for the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix with Max Verstappen third for Red Bull.

F1's top two teams opted for different tyre strategies for the final runs in Q3, with the Mercedes drivers returning to medium tyres with which they had dominated in Q2, and used to top qualifying at Portimao in 2020, while Verstappen stuck with the softs throughout.

But the tyre change did not work for either of the Black Arrows drivers, as Bottas's 1m18.38s that was set on the first Q3 runs on the softs ended up being the pole time.

Both Bottas and Hamilton could not improve on their final efforts, which meant the former's 0.007s advantage from the soft tyre runs gave him his first pole of 2021.

Verstappen had lost his first Q3 saving an oversteer snap to the right as he ran through Turn 4 and beyond the track limits onto the back straight and so was under extra pressure for the final runs.

The Dutchman was also only taking a single warm-up lap on the tricky low-grip surface compared to the two most other drivers completed.

Despite having to pass traffic on what would be his sole legal Q3 lap, Verstappen reached third but ended up 0.398s slower than Bottas.

Behind the leaders came Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull and Carlos Sainz, who outqualified Charles Leclerc for the first time as a Ferrari driver.

Esteban Ocon was sixth ahead of Lando Norris and Leclerc, with Pierre Gasly ninth for AlphaTauri.

Sebastian Vettel, making his first Q3 appearance since the 2020 British GP, took 10th for Aston Martin.

In Q2, the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers progressed through on the medium tyres as has become typical to start on the preferred rubber for the opening stint of the race, but here they were joined in this by Leclerc.

Both Ferrari drivers started Q2 on the mediums, but while Sainz switched to softs to ease his Q3 progression, Leclerc preserved with the harder rubber and did enough to get by with a personal best on his second flying run on the same set at the end of the end of the segment.

Behind the top 10 runners, George Russell took P11 for Williams, ending up 0.057s adrift of Gasly's P10 time in Q2 – crossing the line as the last of the runners setting flying laps in the middle segment.

Behind him came Antonio Giovinazzi for Alfa Romeo, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda – the trio all completing personal best laps on their final Q2 runs but still being eliminated nevertheless.

Kimi Raikkonen could not improve on his final run and ended up P15 as a result in the second Alfa.

In Q1, Daniel Ricciardo suffered a shock exit ahead of Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, with Norris putting the other McLaren second in the opening segment, which featured Alonso spinning exiting the penultimate corner and Perez losing the rear running through Turn 4 and spinning through the gravel on the exit.

Ricciardo and Stroll not finding enough time on their final efforts in Q1 preserved Russell's perfect record of getting through to Q2 at all three races so far in 2021, as they failed to jump ahead of the Williams.

But it was Ocon's late jump to fourth on his last lap that meant Ricciardo could not progress.

At the back, Nicholas Latifi led the two Haas cars, with Mick Schumacher finishing ahead of Nikita Mazepin.

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 1'18.348
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 1'18.355 0.007
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 1'18.746 0.398
4 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 1'18.890 0.542
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 1'19.039 0.691
6 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 1'19.042 0.694
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 1'19.116 0.768
8 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 1'19.306 0.958
9 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 1'19.475 1.127
10 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 1'19.659 1.311
11 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 1'19.109 0.761
12 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 1'19.216 0.868
13 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 1'19.456 1.108
14 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 1'19.463 1.115
15 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 1'19.812 1.464
16 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 1'19.839 1.491
17 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 1'19.913 1.565
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 1'20.285 1.937
19 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 1'20.452 2.104
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 1'20.912 2.564
shares
comments

Related video

Portuguese GP qualifying as it happened
Previous article

Portuguese GP qualifying as it happened

Next article

McLaren denies Norris held up Verstappen on purpose in Q3

McLaren denies Norris held up Verstappen on purpose in Q3
Why its Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Prime

Why its Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Prime

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue.

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Prime

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger .

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory Prime

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s Oleg Karpov on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow.

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc Prime

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career.

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Prime

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Prime

Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022