Valtteri Bottas Clinches Pole For 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas clinched pole for the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix following a track evolution dominated Qualifying session.

Bottas emerged quickest ahead of Mercedes’ teammate, Lewis Hamilton to clinch pole with the pair split by just 0.007 seconds, as wind and track evolution played a surprisingly big role throughout Qualifying.

Max Verstappen meanwhile struggled to third after topping FP3 as we round up all of Saturday’s action in Portimao.

 

FP3

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A quiet start to FP3 saw Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll be the first driver to venture out after two minutes, with the Canadian only doing an installation lap before pitting.

Haas’ Mick Schumacher was the first driver to register a lap time of 1m 23.026 on medium tyres before then spinning at Turn 10, aka known as Portimao.

Several drivers eventually entered the fray a few minutes later and exchanged fastest laps with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen emerging fastest after the first 20 minutes of the session with a 1m 19.944 set on soft tyres.

Esteban Ocon quickly displaced Raikkonen just minutes later with a 1m 19.672 on mediums, although he was soon displaced by the frontrunners with Sergio Perez emerging quickest at the halfway point with a 1m 18.840 ahead of Charles Leclerc.

The session was however briefly interrupted by a Virtual Safety Car in the 26th minute to allow marshals to remove an advertising hoarding which had been blown over in the run off area.

Hamilton went quickest in the 31st minute with 1m 18.755 but was displaced seven minutes later by Verstappen who posted a 1m 18.545 to go top, where the Dutchman wouldn’t be dislodged as he eventually improved to a session topping 1m 18.489 lap time.

Hamilton eventually had to settle for second ahead of Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas as Perez, Ocon and Leclerc rounded out the top six ahead of Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Raikkonen who completed the top ten.

Norris however was just one of a few drivers alongside Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin who experienced spins during this session in which strong winds blew across the track throughout.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m 18.489
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.236
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.331
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 0.351
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 0.371
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.512
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 0.561
8 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.783
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 0.885
10 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 0.926
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 0.996
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 1.093
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 1.099
14 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 1.460 (M)
15 Mick Schumacher Haas + 1.544
16 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 1.601 (M)
17 George Russell Williams + 1.638
18 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 1.725 (m)
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 2.192
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas + 2.201

 

Qualifying

Q1

Nikita Mazepin was first driver out on track as several drivers opted to get in early bankers, with Sainz setting the early pace but Bottas soon seized control and set the pace with 1m 19.205 and eventually topped Q1 with 1m 18.722 ahead of Norris.

The bottom five at the halfway mark contained George Russell, Schumacher, Nicholas Latifi, Mazepin and Hamilton who had his lap time of 1m 18.726 deleted for exceeding track limits.

Track evolution however rapidly improved with only Russell and Hamilton both escaping the drop, as McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo became a shock Q1 exit in 16th place ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

 

Q2

With windy conditions and constant track evolution, almost everyone quickly filed out for two warm-up laps to get the tyres up to temperatures but the two Ferrari drivers opted for one warm-up lap with Leclerc heading Sainz after their first fliers.

Up front, Hamilton topped Q2 with a 1m 17.968 on his first flier as Russell, Yuki Tsunoda, Sainz, Antonio Giovinazzi and Raikkonen concluded the opening runs in the drop zone.

Sainz however was the only driver to escape the drop and advance Q3 but Russell outqualified Giovinazzi and Alonso who had dropped down to 13th after failing to improve, with Tsunoda and Raikkonen rounding out the Q2 exits in 14th and 15th respectively.

 

Q3

Norris was first out on track as everyone but Ocon, Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel headed straight out for two warm-up laps. Verstappen instead opted for one warm-up lap which backfired after his first flier was deleted for exceeding track limits.

Up front, Bottas set a 1m 18.348 which proved enough for pole as Hamilton completed an all Mercedes front row after falling 0.007s short, whilst Verstappen recovered to third ahead of Perez as track evolution fell away to stop most final lap improvements.

Sainz was fifth ahead of Ocon who was the only driver to improve on their first Q3 flier as he put his Alpine sixth on the grid ahead of Norris, Leclerc, Gasly and Vettel.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m 18.348
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.007
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.398
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 0.542
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 0.691
6 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 0.694
7 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.768
8 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.958
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 1.127
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 1.311
11 George Russell Williams 1m 19.109
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 0.107
13 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 0.347
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 0.354
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 0.703
16 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1m 19.839
17 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 0.074
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 0.446
19 Mick Schumacher Haas + 0.613
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas + 1.073

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Valtteri Bottas Clinches Pole For 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix – Sport Grill | Sky News Press
  2. Valtteri Bottas Clinches Pole For 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix – Sport Grill | News Alian
  3. Valtteri Bottas Clinches Pole For 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix - OrbMena News

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