Lights out at the Portuguese Grand Prix is in less than 24 hours, when yet another battle will ignite in the fight for podium places.
Valtteri Bottas took pole position this afternoon after a grueling qualifying session. Joining him at the front of the grid will be teammate, Lewis Hamilton, in a Mercedes front-row lockout, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen taking off from P3.
The first four wheels out of the pits this afternoon were that of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, followed by a slew of other drivers determined to get an early lap in.
Ferrari put in an impressive performance across the board with Sainz topping the early timesheets, and both drivers safely into Q2 this afternoon.
Most surprisingly out of Q1 was McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who lost the last place to Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.
Joining Ricciardo in the elimination zone was Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, and the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.
At the end of Q1, the second McLaren of Lando Norris was proving extremely quick, splitting the Mercedes pair in P2.
Heading into Q2, Charles Leclerc clocked an early fastest lap in 1:19.434s with teammate Carlos Sainz not far behind – 0.245s – as the pair prove the SF21 has some serious potential once again this weekend.
Missing out on Q3 this afternoon was the Williams of George Russell, who has been making the most of his FW43B this weekend, impressing across the board and just missing out on entry to Q3.
However, joining him in the elimination zone was Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in P12, ahead of Alpine’s Alonso in 13th, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in P14, and the second Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen plum last of the session in P15.
Meanwhile, at this point, the fastest time on the board was held by Lewis Hamilton after an impressive lap in 1:17.968s, with his teammate Valtteri in a close second, and Norris still giving them a run for their money in third.
The final shootout this afternoon saw Valtteri Bottas land pole position for the Portuguese Grand Prix tomorrow afternoon.
Joining him on the front row is his British teammate Lewis Hamilton, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – who wasn’t too pleased with the outcome after having a previous lap time deleted for exceeding track limits and ultimately missing out on a better starting position tomorrow.
Doing the business 🤜🤛
Front row lockout No. 75 for the Team in the Modern Era 🙌 #WeLivePerformance pic.twitter.com/vMELGvAPml
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) May 1, 2021
The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez will be taking off tomorrow from P4, ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in P5, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in sixth after an impressive showing today, and McLaren’s Lando Norris in P7.
Closing out the top ten for tomorrow’s starting grid is the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, in P8, 9, and 10 respectively.
Lights out is tomorrow at 3:00 pm Irish time, for the Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão.