Hamilton beats Bottas to win the Portuguese GP pole

Valtteri Bottas was fastest in all three practice sessions and the first two qualifying sessions, but when it came time to win the pole in Q3 he choked and his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton beat him with a lap of 1m16.652s on medium tires, 0.102s faster.

It was Hamilton’s 9th pole of the year and 97th of his career as he continues to demoralize Bottas. He came out the garage earlier to get two flying laps in on those mediums, and delivered on the second lap to steal pole by just over one tenth.

Bottas beaten again – Wolfgang Wilhelm

“I can’t tell you how hard that was today, yes we’ve got a great car but you have to drive your nuts off here this weekend,” said Hamilton.

“He [Bottas] decided to do one [lap] and I was like okay this gives me an opportunity. I went out there nice and early, I wanted to have an extra run and it worked perfectly.”

“At the end we decided to go for the mediums as they seemed quicker. It was my decision to go for one timed [lap] as that worked in Q2. It was a decent lap, not perfect,” said a dejected Bottas.

Max Verstappen was third quick for Red Bull Honda 0.252s behind Hamilton.

“It’s a bit hit-and-miss, I’m happy with Q3, the lap itself was decent. P3, not too far behind so a lot to play for tomorrow,” said Verstappen

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc did a sensational lap in the inferior Ferrari to go 4th quick, 0.438s off pole.

Charles Leclerc

Sergio Perez rounded out the top-5 in his #11 Racing Point Mercedes, once again burying his teammate Lance Stroll.

So Hamilton grabs pole in Portugal, his ninth of the season so far, an incredible record as Mercedes maintain their 100% run on pole positions this season. He gets the cleaner side of the track, Bottas the dirty which could prove costly for the Finn with a fast-starting Verstappen also on the clean side behind.

More to follow…..

Qualifying Results

1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.828 1:16.824 1:16.652 21
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:16.945 1:16.466 1:16.754 17
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:16.879 1:17.038 1:16.904 23
4 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:17.421 1:17.367 1:17.090 23
5 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes 1:17.370 1:17.129 1:17.223 21
6 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing Honda 1:17.435 1:17.411 1:17.437 29
7 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren Renault 1:17.627 1:17.183 1:17.520 24
8 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:17.547 1:17.321 1:17.525 24
9 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1:17.209 1:17.367 1:17.803 26
10 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:17.621 1:17.481 17
11 31 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:17.775 1:17.614 18
12 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes 1:17.667 1:17.626 22
13 26 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda 1:17.841 1:17.728 22
14 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:17.931 1:17.788 17
15 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:17.446 1:17.919 20
16 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:18.201 12
17 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:18.323 12
18 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:18.364 12
19 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:18.508 10
20 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1:18.777 11