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Bottas tops Mercedes-dominated qualifying session

Bottas tops Mercedes-dominated qualifying session, F1 Daily

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Valtteri Bottas edged his team mate Lewis Hamilton at the qualifying session for the Portuguese Grand Prix to secure his 17th career pole position. Red Bull’s duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will line up third and fourth on the grid tomorrow.

With the challenging conditions, the majority of the field was in a big rush to head out to register a banker lap. Despite posting the fastest lap time early on, Lewis Hamilton had his first real push lap deleted as he exceeded the track limits at Turn 1. The Briton needed several other laps to find his rhythm thereafter and put a lap together which he could feel comfortable with.

After slightly low-key practice performance, McLaren’s Lando Norris replicated what he did at Imola a couple of weeks ago by only extracting the maximum of his papaya car in the all-important qualifying session. The Bristol-born ended up second fastest with a time of 1n18.794 in the first qualifying session which ultimately saw Valtteri Bottas post the fastest time.

The biggest shocking result was delivered by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo who was unable to get himself into the second qualifying session. The dismal result leaves the Perth-born driver with the 16th starting position for tomorrow’s Portuguese Grand Prix. Behind the Australian, Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin will line up on the grid in tomorrow’s second-ever F1 race at Portimao.

With Pirelli expecting most of the drivers to try to execute a one-stop strategy in tomorrow’s Portuguese Grand Prix, it was less surprising to see the majority of the remaining fifteen drivers head out on the yellow-banded C2 Pirelli compound. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas shocked the field by posting the weekend’s best lap with a 1m17.968 and a 1m18.458 respectively.

Apart from the Mercedes duo, Max Verstappen was also able to qualify himself for Q3 on the Medium compound while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc also succeeded, albeit he needed two sets of fresh medium compound.

George Russell earned praise from his team after he secured P11 with his Williams. Next to the young Briton, Antonio Giovinazzi, Fernando Alonso, Yuki Tsunoda and Kimi Räikkönen were knocked out at the end of Q2.

Each driver headed out with a set of soft tyres when the lights went green in the last qualifying segment. The first runs saw Max Verstappen register the fastest lap, but the Dutchman’s time was deleted as he exceeded the track limits at Turn 4.

The 23-year-old driver’s mistake left Valtteri Bottas lead the leaderboard, followed by his team mate Lewis Hamilton. After his sensational time of 1m17.968 on the medium compound in Q2, the Briton only managed a 1m18.355 on the softs on his first flying lap in Q3, which left the Anglo-German team puzzled.

There was huge pressure on Verstappen as he was down in P10 after his mistake on his first push lap. The Dutchman was unable to replicate his time, but it was still enough for the third position. Due to their struggles on the soft compound, Mercedes sent their drivers on the yellow-walled tyres, although neither of them managed to find any improvements. leaving Bottas atop, who ultimately beat Hamilton by seven thousands of a second.

Ferrari continued to demonstrate their improved form by Carlos Sainz ending up fifth fastest and Charles Leclerc securing the eighth starting position. The Monegasque could have ended up higher up on the grid as he was the driver to lose the most due to the worsening track conditions in the closing stages of the qualifying session.

After his recent struggles, Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel showed that he still has what it takes to be a part of the world’s best drivers. The German managed to get himself into Q3 with an eye-catching lap in the middle part of the qualifying session and ultimately ended up tenth.

Results

Pos. No. Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:18.722 1:18.458 1:18.348 23
2 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:18.857 1:17.968 1:18.355 24
3 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 1:19.485 1:18.650 1:18.746 20
4 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA 1:19.337 1:18.845 1:18.890 22
5 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:19.309 1:18.813 1:19.039 23
6 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:19.092 1:18.586 1:19.042 17
7 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:18.794 1:18.481 1:19.116 24
8 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:19.373 1:18.769 1:19.306 29
9 10 Pierre Gasly Alphatauri HONDA 1:19.464 1:19.052 1:19.475 26
10 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 1:19.403 1:18.970 1:19.659 22
11 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:19.797 1:19.109 15
12 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo RACING FERRARI 1:19.410 1:19.216 19
13 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 1:19.728 1:19.456 12
14 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA 1:19.684 1:19.463 17
15 7 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 1:19.748 1:19.812 19
16 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:19.839 11
17 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 1:19.913 10
18 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:20.285 9
19 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 1:20.452 11
20 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS FERRARI 1:20.912 11


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