Bottas on pole for Portuguese GP

ALGARVE INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, PORTUGAL - MAY 01: Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, with the Pirelli Pole Position Award during the Portuguese GP at Algarve International Circuit on Saturday May 01, 2021 in Portimao, Portugal. (Copyright Free for Editorial Use Only. Credit: FIA Pool / LAT Images)

The Portuguese Grand Prix will most likely be a one-stopper, for two key reasons: firstly because the time lost in the pit lane here is too costly to make a two-stopper work, and secondly because wear and degradation on all the tire compounds seems quite low.

With the Portimao circuit is proving to be a bit challenging this weekend and there was the differences between Red Bull’s Soft compound performance versus Mercedes and their Medium compounds. It was an interesting development as Q2’s result for Mercedes on Mediums were better than Red Bull’s Medium run as well as their Soft compounds in Q3.


Valtteri Bottas claimed pole ahead of his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, with Red Bull third and fourth. The Mercedes drivers were the only ones to select the Yellow medium tire for their final runs in Q3, but they both set their fastest times on their first runs, using the Red soft.

During the Q2 session, which determines which starting tires the top 10 on the grid will use, most drivers headed out on the medium, with just six starting the session on the Red soft. In the end, five drivers in the top of the grid will start on the medium tomorrow including the top four: both Mercedes, both Red Bulls, and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

The gusting winds played a role in the qualifying session as well and the Red Bull’s didn’t like the tail wind at turn four very much.

1Valtteri BottasMercedes1m18.722s1m18.458s1m18.348s
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m18.857s1m17.968s1m18.355s
3Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1m19.485s1m18.65s1m18.746s
4Sergio PérezRed Bull-Honda1m19.337s1m18.845s1m18.89s
5Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari1m19.309s1m18.813s1m19.039s
6Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1m19.092s1m18.586s1m19.042s
7Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m18.794s1m18.481s1m19.116s
8Charles LeclercFerrari1m19.373s1m18.769s1m19.306s
9Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1m19.464s1m19.052s1m19.475s
10Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1m19.403s1m18.97s1m19.659s
11George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1m19.797s1m19.109s
12Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m19.41s1m19.216s
13Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1m19.728s1m19.456s
14Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1m19.684s1m19.463s
15Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m19.748s1m19.812s
16Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1m19.839s
17Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m19.913s
18Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1m20.285s
19Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1m20.452s
20Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1m20.912s
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