Grand Prix qualifying results: Bottas takes F1 pole in Portugal

Valtteri Bottas took pole position for the Portuguese Grand Prix at Portimao for Mercedes on Saturday, the third round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

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Bottas will start ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen after the one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3.

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Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying results: Bottas on pole from Hamilton

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

What happened in Q1?

In the first session, when all cars were on track together, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz set the initial P1 time on soft tyres at 1m19.480s. Surprisingly, neither Bottas nor Verstappen could beat it – by 0.008s and 0.010s respectively – while Hamilton had a big slide at Turn 1, losing his lap of 1m18.726s which would have been fastest at the time.

Sainz improved to 1m19.309s, until Bottas lowered the quickest time to 1m19.205s. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez went off at Turn 4, while Alpine’s Fernando Alonso spun at Turn 14.

In the closing moments, McLaren's Lando Norris grabbed P1 on 1m18.794s until Bottas wrested top spot away with a lap of 1m18.722s. Hamilton ran again, and jumped up to third.

Knocked out at the first hurdle were McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, after a "messy" end to his fastest lap, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi (Williams) and the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

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Portuguese Grand Prix Q1 results: Bottas fastest from Norris

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas
8 1'18.722
2 United Kingdom Lando Norris
10 1'18.794 0.072
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
9 1'18.857 0.135
4 France Esteban Ocon
8 1'19.092 0.370
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
6 1'19.309 0.587
6 Mexico Sergio Perez
6 1'19.337 0.615
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc
11 1'19.373 0.651
8 Germany Sebastian Vettel
10 1'19.403 0.681
9 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
9 1'19.410 0.688
10 France Pierre Gasly
10 1'19.464 0.742
11 Netherlands Max Verstappen
6 1'19.485 0.763
12 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
9 1'19.684 0.962
13 Spain Fernando Alonso
6 1'19.728 1.006
14 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
10 1'19.748 1.026
15 United Kingdom George Russell
8 1'19.797 1.075
16 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
11 1'19.839 1.117
17 Canada Lance Stroll
10 1'19.913 1.191
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi
9 1'20.285 1.563
19 Germany Mick Schumacher
11 1'20.452 1.730
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
11 1'20.912 2.190

What happened in Q2?

In Q2, the pole position-hunting protagonists all ran on the medium tyre – Sainz again setting the early bar at 1m19.560s, before teammate Charles Leclerc pipped him.

Verstappen lowered P1 to 1m19.099s, before Bottas set 1m18.458s and Hamilton set a stonking 1m17.968s – almost half a second quicker than everyone. Verstappen fell back to fifth, behind soft runners Norris and Esteban Ocon (Alpine).

Knocked out at this point were George Russell (Williams – who missed out on a Q3 spot by 0.057s), Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) and the second Alfa of Kimi Raikkonen.

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Portuguese Grand Prix Q2 results: Hamilton fastest from Bottas

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
7 1'17.968
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas
7 1'18.458 0.490
3 United Kingdom Lando Norris
7 1'18.481 0.513
4 France Esteban Ocon
3 1'18.586 0.618
5 Netherlands Max Verstappen
8 1'18.650 0.682
6 Monaco Charles Leclerc
10 1'18.769 0.801
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
9 1'18.813 0.845
8 Mexico Sergio Perez
9 1'18.845 0.877
9 Germany Sebastian Vettel
6 1'18.970 1.002
10 France Pierre Gasly
8 1'19.052 1.084
11 United Kingdom George Russell
7 1'19.109 1.141
12 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
10 1'19.216 1.248
13 Spain Fernando Alonso
6 1'19.456 1.488
14 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
8 1'19.463 1.495
15 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
9 1'19.812 1.844

What happened in Q3?

In the top-10 shootout, Bottas set the benchmark on 1m18.348s after the first runs, 0.007s ahead of Hamilton. Perez was third quickest, as Verstappen had his first lap deleted for exceeding track limits after he had a huge slide at Turn 4. His 1m18.209s would have been enough for pole, while the Mercs believed that they were faster on the mediums rather than the softs.

On the final runs, Bottas and Hamilton went for new mediums, while Verstappen and the rest went for fresh softs. Verstappen only managed third place, 0.398s off the Mercs, after having to pass Norris on his crucial lap.

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Neither Bottas nor Hamilton improved on mediums, but they locked out the front row anyway.

Perez will start fourth, ahead of Sainz, Ocon, Norris, Leclerc, Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin).

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Portuguese Grand Prix Q3 results: Bottas takes pole

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas
8 1'18.348
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
8 1'18.355 0.007
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen
6 1'18.746 0.398
4 Mexico Sergio Perez
7 1'18.890 0.542
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
8 1'19.039 0.691
6 France Esteban Ocon
6 1'19.042 0.694
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris
7 1'19.116 0.768
8 Monaco Charles Leclerc
8 1'19.306 0.958
9 France Pierre Gasly
8 1'19.475 1.127
10 Germany Sebastian Vettel
6 1'19.659 1.311

 

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