Bottas denies Hamilton his 100th pole, Verstappen comes in third

Valtteri Bottas has stolen teammate Lewis Hamilton’s 100th pole position by grabbing the top spot on the grid. Bottas was ahead of Hamilton by a mere 0.007 seconds at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Bottas managed to claim his 17th pole just two weeks after his horrifying crash with Williams driver George Russell. This came after the Finn’s car needed a change of the gearbox sensor in the build-up to qualifying.

Verstappen had his first flying lap in Q3 scrapped for exceeding track limits at turn four. He would have otherwise managed to score pole. He will line-up third, ahead of Sergio Perez.

Carlos Sainz will start 5th with Ferrari just ahead of Esteban Ocon for Alpine and Lando Norris for McLaren. Charles Leclerc starts 8th for the Scuderia.

Pierre Gasly starts 9th for AlphaTauri just ahead of Sebastian Vettel with Aston Martin.

George Russell starts 11th, the highest finish he has had with Williams. He missed out on the top 10 just by a mere 0.057s to Gasly.

Just behind the Brit will be Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Fernando Alonso in his Alpine. Yuki Tsunoda starts 14th in his AlphaTauri and Kimi Raikkonen in Alfa Romeo starts 15th. Ricciardo starts 16th with 0.042s behind Russell and will line up ahead of Lance Stroll of Aston Martin.

Nicholas Latifi starts 18th for Williams while the Haas duo Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin start at the back.

Hamilton misses out on 100th pole due to ‘messy’ qualifying

Hamilton entered Portimão with hopes of becoming the first driver in Formula 1 to score 100 poles. However, this feat was denied to him by his teammate Valtteri Bottas.

“It was a difficult session for everyone,” said Hamilton. “It’s not that easy here, particularly as it’s windy, it’s quite a slippery surface, so quite challenging for everyone.

“Quite a messy session from me. Q1 wasn’t good, Q2 I only had one good lap, and Q3 was pretty poor also.”

Hamilton, however, was full of praise for Bottas, who beat him by just 0.007 seconds.

“A great job by Valtteri and by our team.

“For us to be on the front row was definitely not expected this weekend so we have got to be happy with that.

“Max [Verstappen] obviously pulled something out at the end but I’m not sure where they were earlier on. Not the perfect lap but I gave it everything.”

Hamilton also mentioned that Mercedes cannot afford to fall behind this season.

“I don’t think we can ever be satisfied,” added Hamilton. “That is what we exist to do, to push forward but I’m definitely happy with the work we are doing and the steps we are taking.”

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