Bottas pipped Hamilton and Verstappen to pole in a challenging qualifying session.
Valtteri Bottas pipped his teammate Lewis Hamilton to lock out the front row of the Portuguese GP in Portimao. In doing so, Bottas also denied his teammate a chance to score the 100th pole. Max Verstappen in the Red Bull Honda has been highly fancied to challenge them for pole position as he managed P3. His teammate Sergio Perez qualified in P4. All cars during the last stint in Q3 struggled with the windy conditions at Portimou and couldn’t improve their times.
Carlos Sainz came P5 in the Ferrari out-qualifying his teammate Charles Leclerc for the first time. Leclerc was stuck in traffic and managed just P8 in the Ferrari but he will be on the medium compound tyre in the race which will give him an advantage over Sainz.
Esteban Ocon continued his edge over 2-time world champion Fernando Alonso in the Alpine delivering an impressive P6 ahead of even the extremely rapid Lando Norris in the McLaren who managed just P7. McLaren overall didn’t have a great day as Daniel Ricciardo failed to make it to even Q2 and qualified in a dismal P16.
Pierre Gasly again was impressive in the AlphaTauri managing P9 right ahead of Sebastian Vettel who managed his first top 10 finish in ten races. The newly minted Aston Martin driver finally seemed to be getting a hang of the car as he out qualified his team mate Lance Stroll who managed just P17.
George Russell was again at it in the Williams elevating what is clearly the second weakest car on the grid to P11. He was followed by Antonio Giovinazzi in Alfa Romeo in P12. Fernando Alonso was managed P13 in the Alpine ahead of Yuki Tsunoda in the other AlphaTauri. Kimi Raikkonen managed P15 in the second Alfa Romeo.
Nicholas Latifi qualified in P18 behind Ricciardo and Stroll in the Williams. The Haas pair of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin were expectedly at the back of the grid in 19 and 20.
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:18.348
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.007s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.398s
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.542s
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.691s
6 Esteban Ocon Alpine +0.694s
7 Lando Norris McLaren +0.768s
8 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.958s
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +1.127s
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +1.311s
11 George Russell Williams +1:19.109
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing +1:19.216
13 Fernando Alonso Alpine +1:19.456
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +1:19.463
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing +1:19.812
16 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +1:19.839
17 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +1:19.913
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams +1:20.285
19 Mick Schumacher Haas +1:20.452
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas +1:20.912