THE F1 season is in Portugal – and today qualifying is on the agenda.
Lewis Hamilton has control of the Driver’s Championship after victory in Germany last weekend, but Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas will be out for revenge.
Follow all the latest from Portugal with our blog below…
Just a tenth separated Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton starts from pole position tomorrow, the 97th of his career, speaking after qualifying Hamilton said: “I can’t tell you how hard that was today!
“I’ve just seen that Valtteri topped every session, and I’ve just been digging to find the time.
“I chose to do three laps laps to have a chance to beat his time”
AND NOW HAMILTON TAKES IT…
He is in P1 that is his 9th pole of the season.
The 97th pole of his career.
A perfect lap.
Bottas in P2, Verstappen in P3 and Leclerc in P4.
BOTTAS SNATCHES POLE BACK
He puts in an excellent lap that is 0.180 seconds quicker than his teammate.
HAMILTON NOW GOES QUICKEST
Can Bottas get back at him?
ALBON NOT IMPRESSING HERE
The Red Bull man only goes seventh quickest – and that lap time will be deleted too for exceeding track limits.
BOTTAS TAKES PROVISIONAL POLE
But the gap is just 0.047 seconds.
This is going to be close.
Q3 IS GO
Three-way fight for pole between Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen.
Bottas has dominated all three sessions until now, Hamilton has that ability to pull it out of the bag at the last minute.
Q2 IS DONE
Russell, Vettel, Kvyat, Stroll and Ocon are eliminated.
Big spin for Ricciardo, but he is into the top 10 shootout.
HALFWAY THROUGH Q2
And Sebastian Vettel is in danger of getting into Q3. He was on the medium tyre, but it was not quick enough. The Ferrari man will need to run again.
Stroll and Ocon are also in danger of not making it into Q3.
Q2 IS GO
All eyes on the mid-table teams here, but there could be a few big scalps too.
RUSSELL IS IN TO Q2
The Brit, who faces an anxious wait to discover if he will drive for Williams next season, is in to Q2 with a final flying lap to knock out Kimi Raikkonen.
So Latifi, Magnussen, Grosjean, Giovinazzi and Raikkonen are out.
BOTTAS AND HAMILTON LOOKING STRONG
Those in the drop zone are Latifi, Magnussen, Russell, Raikkonen and Grosjean.
QUALIFYING IS GO
The FIA are satisfied that the drain covers are all nailed down tight. We are underway in Portugal after a 30 minute delay.
BUT THERE IS ACTION IN THE PITLANE
Drivers are getting in their cars, getting ready for the 2:35pm start. A hint of optimism that this qualifying session will get underway.
Mercedes sporting director, Ron Meadows, says there is about 10km of covers to check.
LOTS OF CHECKING GOING ON
🚨 UPDATE 🚨
The start of qualifying is delayed by 30 minutes while the circuit is repaired at Turn 14 following damage in FP3
New start time 14:30 ⏰portuguesegp 🇵🇹 f1 pic.twitter.com/7kSRPY7tlT
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 24, 2020
A DELAY TO QUALIFYING
That pesky drain cover has caused a 30 minute delay, as the FIA check the others on the track to make sure they are all welded down.
Charles Leclerc said he could hear Lewis Hamilton on the radio during FP3.
Lando Norris’ team hilariously responds to FP3 being cut short!
SEB SAW IT
Sebastian Vettel drove over the top of the drain, the session had to be stopped with a minute or so to go.
DOWN THE DRAIN
🚩 RED FLAG 🚩
A drain cover has come loose at Turn 14 🔎portuguesegp 🇵🇹 f1 pic.twitter.com/5elLJKvc3L— Formula 1 (@F1) October 24, 2020
FP3 IS DONE – BUT THERE IS A PROBLEM
A loose drain cover at Turn 14 has stopped the session, and it will not be restarted.
Things like that are incredibly dangerous. These F1 cars generate so much downforce, they ripped the heavy drain covers up.
Normally, they are welded down.
The FIA now need to check every single drain cover to ensure that does not work loose.
GREAT JOB FROM PIERRE GASLY AND ALPHATAURI
The Frenchman is in P4 – impressive in itself.
But also because he car was in flames yesterday. A new engine and chassis meant a late night for his mechanics.
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