Formula 1 2020: Lewis Hamilton pips Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole position in Portuguese GP qualifying

In denying his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final seconds of qualifying Hamilton moved to within three of his 100th career pole.

Agence France-Presse October 24, 2020 21:37:09 IST
Formula 1 2020: Lewis Hamilton pips Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole position in Portuguese GP qualifying

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after taking pole at the Portuguese GP. AP

Lewis Hamilton claimed a thrilling last-gasp pole position on Saturday to give him the perfect launchpad for his bid to win a record 92nd race in Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix.

In denying his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final seconds of qualifying Hamilton moved to within three of his 100th career pole.

The six-time champion, who had trailed the Finn in all three practice sessions and in the two opening parts of qualifying, reeled off a stunning best lap in one minute and 16.652 seconds at the new Algarve International Circuit.

It was enough to outpace the Finn by 0.102 seconds and, as so often this year, to deliver heartbreak again after the pair had swapped from soft to medium tyres for their final runs.

Hamilton had gone out ahead of Bottas for the final session and took advantage by taking two flying laps, the second completed after the chequered flag fell producing his clincher.

Hamilton's ninth pole of the season sets him up to move clear of Michael Schumacher’s 14-year-old record of 91 which he equalled in the Eifel Grand Prix at Nurburgring last time out.

"I can't tell you how hard that was today," said Hamilton.

"Yes, we have a great car, but we have to drive the nuts off of it. I have been digging and digging and digging to find that extra time.

"I did the three laps to get a stab at beating his time and that last lap got better and better."

Max Verstappen took third for Red Bull ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez of Racing Point with Alex Albon sixth in the second Red Bull and the McLaren pair of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in seventh and eighth places.

Pierre Gasly was ninth for Alpha Tauri and Daniel Ricciardo 10th for Renault.

A disappointed Bottas, whose efforts produced Mercedes’ ninth front row lockout of the year, said: "I will do all I can, but I would prefer to be on the clean side of the track."

Verstappen, who pushed the two ‘black arrows’ to the limit, said he had struggled with his tyres.

"it was so difficult to get the front and rear to match, but we were close – not too far behind."

Updated Date:

also read

Madison Keys warms up for Australian Open by beating Alison Riske in all-American Adelaide International final
Sports

Madison Keys warms up for Australian Open by beating Alison Riske in all-American Adelaide International final

Keys never allowed her compatriot a look into the contest powering her way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory in just over an hour to claim her sixth WTA title

India Open 2022: PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen enter semi-finals with contrasting wins
Sports

India Open 2022: PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen enter semi-finals with contrasting wins

Top seed Sindhu, a former world champion, took 36 minutes to get the better of 21-year-old Chaliha 21-7 21-18 and set up a last-four clash with Thailand's Supanida Katethong, seeded sixth.

Women's Junior Hockey World Cup to be played in South Africa in April; Indoor WC cancelled, says FIH
Sports

Women's Junior Hockey World Cup to be played in South Africa in April; Indoor WC cancelled, says FIH

The move to cancel the FIH Indoor World Cup was made on the basis of the current health situation in Belgium amid the COVID-19 pandemic and after extensive consultations and recommendations from all competent authorities in the country.