Lewis Hamilton gained his nineth pole position of the 2020 season at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Qualifying at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve was delayed by thirty minutes due to drain cover issues on the track. The morning’s practice session was red flagged in the dying stages when a drain cover came up after Sebastian Vettel’s Scuderia Ferrari drove over it. The FIA needed to check that all of the other drains would not do the same so a thorough test of all drains was carried out between sessions.
Q1 – Haas and Alfa all out
Haas F1 Team announced before the race weekend that they will be changing their driver line-up for 2021 with both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen leaving at the end of the 2020 season. I’m sure the drivers would have wanted to put on a performance after that news but unfortunately both cars couldn’t get to Q2. Grosjean will start eighteenth with Magnussen in nineteenth.
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN became the second double eviction. Kimi Räikkönen was sitting on the cusp of getting through to Q2 but was ousted out by George Russell in the dying seconds of the session. The Finn will start sixteenth with team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi in seventeenth.
Nicholas Latifi continued to be out qualified by his Williams Racing team-mate Russell. He hasn’t had a greater performance than the Brit in qualifying all season. He his starting rock bottom in twentieth.
Q2 – ‘Mr Saturday’ is back again
Sebastian Vettel was again out in Q2 for the ninth time this year. The Ferrari driver has struggled this year and it doesn’t seem to be getting better for him. He will start the race in fifteenth. He was not helped by Ferrari trying to get through Q2 using the medium tyre.
George Russell was unable to make Q3 for the first time this year. He was able to make it through to Q2 which is still impressive in that Williams Racing car and gives him the rightful name of ‘Mr Saturday’. He will start in fourteenth and has yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate since joining the Formula 1 grid at the beginning of the 2019 season.
Daniil Kyvat was unable to get through to Q3, unlike his Scuderia AlphaTauri team-mate Pierre Gasly. He will start in thirteenth. Lance Stroll complained of weather conditions at the end of Q2, believing the track got ‘slower’. He was unable to put in a Q3 worthy time and is starting twelfth.
Esteban Ocon was the last car unable to make it through to Q3. His Renault DP World F1 Team team-mate Daniel Ricciardo locked up on his last flying lap and took a trip through the gravel trap while sitting in tenth but Ocon was unable to capitalise on this and will start eleventh.
Q3 – Mercedes on top, again
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team have locked out the front row, yet again. Hamilton is starting on pole with Valtteri Bottas in second. The duo opted to put their strongest lap’s in on medium tyres after deeming them slightly faster than the softs. Bottas will surely be annoyed with himself after being fastest in all three practice sessions, especially when his lap time from Q2 being fast enough for pole position had he set it in Q3.
Max Verstappen resumes his usual position of starting in third with an impressive Charles Leclerc joining him on the second row in fourth.
The third row consists of Sergio Pérez in fifth with Alexander Albon in sixth. This result does mean that Albon has been out qualified by his team-mate in every race so far this year.
The fourth row consists of the McLaren F1 Team duo Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris. The Woking team have had a strong weekend compared to the other midfield teams. They are starting seventh and eighth respectively.
Pierre Gasly will be slightly annoyed with himself after being strong all day. The highest he could get is ninth. Ricciardo was unable to get out and set a time. His car required extra work on it after going out onto the gravel at the end of Q2. He’ll be starting tenth.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:16.828||1:16.824||1:16.652||21|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:16.945||1:16.466||1:16.754||17|
|3||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:16.879||1:17.038||1:16.904||23|
|4||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1:17.421||1:17.367||1:17.090||23|
|5||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||1:17.370||1:17.129||1:17.223||21|
|6||23||Alexander Albon||THA||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:17.435||1:17.411||1:17.437||29|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||McLaren F1 Team||1:17.627||1:17.183||1:17.520||24|
|8||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1:17.547||1:17.321||1:17.525||24|
|9||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:17.209||1:17.367||1:17.803||26|
|10||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Renault DP World F1 Team||1:17.621||1:17.481||17|
|11||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Renault DP World F1 Team||1:17.775||1:17.614||18|
|12||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||BWT Racing Point Formula One Team||1:17.667||1:17.626||22|
|13||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:17.841||1:17.728||22|
|14||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||1:17.931||1:17.788||17|
|15||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Scuderia Ferrari||1:17.446||1:17.919||20|
|16||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing||1:18.201||12|
|17||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing||1:18.323||12|
|18||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Haas F1 Team||1:18.364||12|
|19||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||1:18.508||10|
|20||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1:18.777||11|