Portuguese F1 GP: Bottas beats Hamilton in pole position by 0.007s

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The top two F1 teams opted for different tire strategies for the final runs of Q3, with Mercedes drivers reverting to the medium tires they had dominated in Q2, and used to advance to qualifying in Portimao. in 2020, while Verstappen stayed with the tenderers throughout.

But the tire change didn’t work for any of the Black Arrows riders, as Bottas’ 1m18.348 that was set in the first Q3 races on the soft ends ended up being pole time.

Bottas and Hamilton were unable to improve on their final efforts, meaning the leader’s 0.007s advantage over soft tire races gave him his first pole of 2021.

Verstappen lost his first lap time in Q3 – a 1m18.209s that would have been good enough for pole if he had held up – after saving an oversteer slam to the right as he made his way through Turn 4 and – beyond the limits of the track on the back straight, and was therefore under additional pressure for the final tests.

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The Dutchman also completed only one warm-up lap on a delicate surface with little grip compared to the other two completed drivers.

Although he had to pass traffic on what would be his only legal lap in Q3, Verstappen reached third place but finished 0.398s slower than Bottas.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

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

Esteban Ocon finished sixth for Alpine ahead of Lando Norris of McLaren and Leclerc of Ferrari, with Pierre Gasly ninth for AlphaTauri.

Sebastian Vettel, who was making his first appearance in Q3 since the 2020 British GP, finished 10th for Aston Martin.

In Q2 the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers progressed on the medium tires, as it became common to start on the preferred rubber for the opening stint of the race, and here they were joined in this tactic by Leclerc.

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Both Ferrari drivers started Q2 on the mids, but while Sainz switched to softs to facilitate his progress in Q3, Leclerc continued with the harder rubber and did enough to enter Q3 with a personal best in his second. race in flight on the same set of tires at the end of the segment.

Behind the top 10 riders, George Russell came very close to a career first appearance in Q3 as a Williams driver taking 11th place, finishing 0.057 seconds off Gasly’s time in 10th place in Q2 – crossing the line as the last of the runners establishing flying tricks. in the middle segment.

George Russell, Williams FW43B

George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Behind him Antonio Giovinazzi for Alfa Romeo, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda – the trio all setting personal bests in their last runs in Q2, but still being eliminated.

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Kimi Raikkonen couldn’t improve on his last run and finished P15 following the second Alfa.

In the first quarter, Daniel Ricciardo suffered a shock exit ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, with Norris placing the other McLaren second in the opening segment, which put Alonso in rotation out of the penultimate corner. and Perez losing the rear by crossing turn 4 and crossing the gravel. to the output.

With Ricciardo and Stroll not having found enough time on their last efforts in Q1, this has allowed Russell to maintain his perfect record of moving to Q2 all three races so far in 2021 as they have failed. to get ahead of the Williams.

But it was Ocon’s late jump to fourth place on his last lap that kept Ricciardo from progressing.

At the rear, Nicholas Latifi led both Haas cars, Mick Schumacher ahead of Nikita Mazepin.

F1 Portuguese Grand Prix – Qualifying Results

Q3

Q2

Q1

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