Valtteri Bottas qualified on pole position for the first time in 2021 as he beat teammate Lewis Hamilton by 0.007s in qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen completed the top three, but was hindered by running wide on his first run in Q3, leaving him time to set just one flying lap in the final part of qualifying.
Hamilton and Charles Leclerc also both fell foul of track limits at the start of qualifying, with the pair having their early efforts deleted, while their was Q1 drama for Sergio Perez has he spun into the gravel, just doing enough to get his Red Bull back on track.
Lap times started to fall dramatically towards the end of the first session, meaning even those near the top of the standings had to set another fast lap. McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo was among the first to see the chequered flag, and the Australian fell down the order as others improved, leaving him in the bottom five. Lance Stroll also missed out, along with both Haas drivers and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.
Latifi’s teammate, George Russell, was less than 0.1s from a spot in the top 10 shootout, just losing out to Pierre Gasly.
Carlos Sainz beat his Ferrari teammate to secure a spot on the third row of the grid alongside Esteban Ocon, with Lando Norris also ahead of the Monegasque driver.
Provisional qualifying result:
1 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
6. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
7. Lando Norris (McLaren)
8. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
9. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
11. George Russell (Williams)
12. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
13. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
14. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
15. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
16. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
17. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)
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