Valtteri Bottas took pole place for the Portuguese Grand Prix with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton finishing a Mercedes front-row lockout in qualifying on Saturday. Hamilton’s pursuit of a a hundredth pole on the monitor the place final yr he notched up his report 92nd win was delayed when Bottas earned the seventeenth of his profession.
“It is a good feeling to be on pole,” mentioned Bottas after a last qualifying session lap of 1min 18.348sec.
He added: “Feels prefer it’s been some time. It has been a weak level for me within the first two races. The group have been working exhausting all weekend and now we have a very good place for tomorrow.”
Bottas’ efficiency was well-timed after he had certified third within the season-opener in Bahrain however then a lowly eighth at Emilia-Romagna.
His time was simply 0.007sec quicker than Hamilton.
Purple Bull’s Max Verstappen, one level off Hamilton within the drivers’ standings, took third on Sunday’s grid together with his teammate Sergio Perez alongside him on the second row in Portimao.
Verstappen had in truth bettered Bottas’ time however had his 1min 18.209sec run scrubbed out after exceeding monitor limits.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz got here in fifth forward of the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris, in a McLaren, and Charles Leclerc within the second Ferrari.
Hamilton paid tribute to Bottas “and our group for us each to be on the entrance row”.
“It was not anticipated. We’ve to be pleased for that, it was not the right lap however I gave it every thing.
“You’ll be able to by no means be happy, we exist to maintain shifting ahead however I am proud of what we’re doing and the steps we’re taking.”
Hamilton narrowly leads the 2021 championship after he received the opener in Bahrain earlier than Dutch rival Verstappen hit again at Imola.
“Third is in fact not what we needed but it surely’s not too dangerous after I had a Q3 lap time deleted, which might even have put us quickest,” mentioned Verstappen.
“We struggled with the steadiness in Q1 and Q2 due to the monitor floor, and everyone seems to be chasing grip, however we received to a good stage in Q3 so I do not suppose we’re too far off.”
Bottas’ final outing at Imola was one to neglect as he and Williams driver George Russell collided at 300km/h.
Each automobiles have been wrecked that day and Russell was livid with the Finn earlier than the pair continued their conflict off the monitor with a bitter confrontation.
Russell will begin on the sixth row on Sunday with Pierre Gasly, in an AlphaTauri, and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, n an Aston Martin, forward of him.
“It is our greatest qualifying place in three years so I am actually proud,” mentioned Russell.
“All of us have our tasks, and as a group we did a extremely good job.”
“Tomorrow we have to maintain shifting ahead. We’ve a very good race automotive – it is quick on the straights, so let’s examine what we are able to do.”
The Haas pair of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin begin on the again.