Portuguese GP: Bottas denies Hamilton pole in qualifying

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Valtteri Bottas became the third different polesitter in as many races this season as he took P1 in qualifying at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

While the focus was on whether Lewis Hamilton could claim his 100th career pole, he lost out to his Mercedes teammate by just 0.007s as tyres dominated the story at Portimao.

Max Verstappen actually set the fastest time of Q3, but a slide at Turn 4 saw the Dutchman exceed track limits and have his lap deleted as a result.

Instead, the Red Bull driver had to settle for third, though wasn't happy with traffic on his second run.


Qualifying began with a shock in Q1 as Daniel Ricciardo was eliminated early in 16th for McLaren.

The Australian, who has been struggling to get to grips with his new car, was 1.1s slower than teammate Lando Norris up in P2, with the very tightly packed grid proving Ricciardo's downfall.

His demise came as many were making significant gains in the final moments of Q1, with Lance Stroll also caught out in 17th for Aston Martin.

Behind there were few surprises though, as Nicholas Latifi put himself ahead of Mick Schumacher in 18th and 19th respectively, and Nikita Mazepin once again brought up the field in the second Haas.


In the fight to make the top 10, there was agony again for George Russell who missed out by just 0.057s in P11 for Williams.

Antonio Giovinazzi also produced a strong lap to claim P12 for Alfa Romeo, six-tenths faster than teammate Kimi Raikkonen in P15.

Fernando Alonso's strong practice pace wasn't carried over into qualifying as the Spaniard could do no better than 13th in the Alpine.

And Yuki Tsunoda was 14th in the AlphaTauri, just 0.007s behind his father's hero.


Q3 began with all drivers on the soft tyres after the frontrunner had chosen the mediums to start the race on in Q2.

Mercedes continued their strategy of two warm-up laps, while Verstappen only opted for one, and it worked as Bottas set the pace ahead of Hamilton.

An oversteer moment in Turn 4 meant Max had his first lap time deleted for track limits, a time that would have put him on pole position.

For the second runs, both Merc's switched to back to the medium compound, which Hamilton had used to post a 1m17.9s in Q2.

However, neither would improve meaning Bottas secured his 17th career pole.

Verstappen recovered to third but was clearly unhappy to see a strong pole chance missed upon returning to the garage.

For the first time this season, we will have both Mercedes' and both Red Bulls fighting it out as Sergio Perez took fourth.

In the midfield, Carlos Sainz was the lead Ferrari in fifth, just 0.003s ahead of Esteban Ocon in a strong sixth for Alpine.

Lando Norris was seventh ahead of Charles Leclerc, who'll be disappointed in eighth.

Pierre Gasly made Q3 for the third straight race in ninth, as Sebastian Vettel made his first Q3 appearance both for Aston Martin and since last year's British GP in P10.

A different kind of qualifying than usual with no one extracting the perfect lap from their cars, as proven by Hamilton setting the best time in Q2.

But it still sets up a fascinating Red Bull vs. Mercedes duel on Sunday at Portimao.

Full results from qualifying can be seen below: