Mercedes had a 1-2 finish in F1 Portuguese GP with Valtteri Bottas taking pole from Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The first part of F1 qualifying in Portuguese GP had McLaren duo using the medium tyres, where the rest were on the soft compound. The track limits was put in action as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton facing the axe.
There were spins for Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, which brought out the yellow flags, but both were able to continue. At the front, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas led the way from McLaren’s Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton.
Norris switched the soft tyres, along with teammate Daniel Ricciardo, but it was heartbreak for the Australian. He couldn’t set a clean lap to be knocked out of Q1 in 16th with a 1m19.839s lap along with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll (1m19.913s).
While George Russell made it into Q2, his Williams teammate Nicholas Latifi (1m20.285s) was 18th ahead of the Haas pair of Mick Schumacher (1m20.452s) and Nikita Mazepin (1m20.912s).
The second part in F1 qualifying in Portuguese GP had a mixed strategy being played out where majority were on the medium compound. Among the soft runners, Norris led the way with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Alpine & AlphaTauri duo also using them.
The second run saw many switching to the soft tyres from medium, but not all set a quick time. Only Leclerc remained on the medium tyres to scrape through in the Top 10, which was led by Mercedes’ Hamilton, Bottas and McLaren’s Norris.
A switch to soft helped Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to make it in as Williams’ Russell just missed out in 11th with a 1m19.109s lap. He led Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi (1m19.216s), with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso (1m19.456s) missing out in 13th.
Alonso’s teammate Esteban Ocon was comfortably in the Top 10, while Vettel managed to get his first Top 10 run with Aston Martin. AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda (1m19.463s) was only 14th with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m19.812s) 15th.
The third part of F1 qualifying in Portuguese GP started with a lap deletion for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after he went off at Turn 4 while saving his car. At the front, Mercedes’ Bottas led the way with provisional pole by 0.007s over Hamilton after first run.
Red Bull’s Perez slotted in third from Ferrari’s Sainz and McLaren’s Norris in the Top 5. The second run saw Mercedes duo switch to the medium tyres – like how they did it in 2020 – while the rest of the field stuck with the soft tyres.
It was a bit of anti-climatic end where neither of the Mercedes drivers improved, with Bottas taking F1 Portuguese GP pole after a 1m18.348s lap, which was 0.007s quicker than Hamilton (1m18.355s), as Verstappen (1m18.746s) could only manage third in the end.
His teammate Perez (1m18.890s) was fourth with Ferrari’s Sainz (1m19.039s) ending up fifth ahead of Alpine’s Ocon (1m19.042s) and McLaren’s Norris (1m19.116s). The other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc (1m19.306s) was only eighth in the end.
The Spaniard managing to beat his teammate for the first time in F1 qualifying. The Top 10 then was completed by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly (1m19.475s) and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (1m19.659s) – one of the Frenchman’s lap was deleted due to track limits.
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