Valtteri Bottas Denies Lewis Hamilton Pole At 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

Illustration for article titled Valtteri Bottas Denies Lewis Hamilton Pole At 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix
Photo: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP (Getty Images)

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas nabbed pole position at the Formula One 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix, denying both his teammate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen.

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Most drivers headed out early in Q1 to try getting a good lap in, especially when faced with the day’s gusty winds—but, as you can probably expect, Mercedes did end up leading the field, even despite Hamilton losing a fast lap because he nearly lost control of his car. Sergio Perez at Red Bull Racing did and up losing control after a cross-wind caught his tail, sending him in the gravel trap. Valtteri Bottas took charge of the session at its end.

Knocked Out In Q1

16. Daniel Ricciardo
17. Lance Stroll
18. Nicolas Latifi
19. Mick Schumacher
20. Nikita Mazepin

Everyone managed to keep things together in Q2, with the only big surprise being Ferrari wobbling on the brink of elimination just near the end of the session—leaving its two drivers to pull out a fast lap just at the end of the session to knock George Russell into the elimination zone—which is still the team’s best start in a while. It also proved to be a turning point for Sebastian Vettel, who managed to get his Aston Martin into Q3.

Knocked Out In Q2

11. George Russell
12. Antonio Giovinazzi
13. Fernando Alonso
14. Yuki Tsunoda
15. Kimi Raikkonen

The final qualifying session set out to determine which team would be fastest: Mercedes or Red Bull Racing. But it proved difficult for Max Verstappen, who had a solid lap deleted after just barely losing control in turn 4 for exceeding track limits.

Ultimately, it was Bottas who proved successful, denying pole position from his teammate and from other championship contender Verstappen.

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Top 10

1. Valtteri Bottas
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Max Verstappen
4. Sergio Perez
5. Carlos Sainz Jr.
6. Esteban Ocon
7. Lando Norris
8. Charles Leclerc
9. Pierre Gasly
10. Sebastian Vettel

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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