Hamilton denies Bottas with last-gasp pole

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Last Updated: 24/10/20 3:42pm

Lewis Hamilton seized pole position from Valtteri Bottas with a brilliant final lap in a Portuguese GP qualifying session that went to the wire on F1’s debut at Portimao.

The championship leader had dropped to third behind Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen mid-way through his final lap but was going quicker than both of them and crossed the line one tenth clear of his Mercedes team-mate with a lap of 1:16.652.

“Cue one broken heart for Valtteri Bottas,” said Sky F1’s Martin Brundle.

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“Every lap he’s been supreme, but when it matters most Lewis Hamilton has knitted it all together beautifully.”

Hamilton admitted: “I can’t tell you how hard that was today.”

Verstappen briefly held a front-row position but was shuffled back to a more familiar third, where he will again share the second row with Ferrari’s in-form Charles Leclerc.

Sergio Perez was a strong fifth for Racing Point ahead of Alex Albon, who has effectively been given two races by Red Bull to prove he deserves to keep his seat for 2021.

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Daniel Ricciardo loses control during Q2 and spins across the gravel into the barrier.
Daniel Ricciardo loses control during Q2 and spins across the gravel into the barrier.

The start of qualifying was delayed by 30 minutes while officials worked to repair and check drain covers around the circuit after the one at Turn 14 had worked its way loose in the earlier final practice session.

Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari had run over the cover and dislodged it.

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Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari brought up a drain cover when he ran wide at T14 at the end of practice three.
Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari brought up a drain cover when he ran wide at T14 at the end of practice three.

Vettel went on to endure another fairly torrid qualifying with the four-time champion the slowest driver in Q2 after several small mistakes and starting 15th.

More to follow…

Portuguese GP Qualifying result
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
5. Sergio Perez, Racing Point
6. Alexander Albon, Red Bull
7. Carlos Sainz, McLaren
8. Lando Norris, McLaren
9. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
10. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
Knocked out in Q2
11. Esteban Ocon, Renault
12. Lance Stroll, Racing Point
13. Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri
14. George Russell, Williams
15. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Knocked out in Q1
16. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
17. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo
18. Romain Grosjean, Haas
19. Kevin Magnussen, Haas
20. Nicholas Latifi, Williams.

Source : Sky Sports