2020 Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix, time trial

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In sunny weather, with asphalt temperatures of 35 degrees and air temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius, this year’s twelfth time trial training began in Portimao at the 2020 Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix. Based on the results of the third free practice, Mercedes seemed to be the favorite, but the Red Bulls did well, Pierre Gasly with AlphaTauri and Charles Leclerc also flashed with Ferrari.

The qualification did not start in time, because due to the repair of the manhole cover that came up in the third free practice – and checking the others – the start slipped for half an hour.

A Q1 at the beginning, the entire field drove practically simultaneously from the pit lane to run the measured lap as soon as possible and to keep up with the opponents on the ever-accelerating track.

For the longest time, two Mercedes riders remained in the box, but that didn’t pose a significant disadvantage to either Valtteri Bottas or Lewis Hamilton. The Finn easily overtook the previously leading Sergio Perez Racing Point and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. Hamilton ruined his first lap, but by the second time he had a good time, half a tenth of a second behind Bottas.

Verstappen stepped in after a few less strong laps and ran 66 regiments better than Bottas, who had been in the lead until then. His joy did not last long, for Hamilton was half a tenth faster than him.

Before the Q1 run, two Haas, Alfa Romeo Finn Kimi Räikkönen and two Williams were in the elimination zone, but Sebastian Vettel could also feel in danger in 14th place with Ferrari. In the final minutes of the qualifying stage, everyone except the first five pilots drove to the track. In the end, the two Alfa Romeos, the two Haas and the williamses Nicholas Latifi did not advance.

A Q2-I the teams started tactics when it comes to tire choices: a pair of Mercedes and Ferrari using medium tires, while everyone else was trying to move on using red sidewall, soft Pirelles. After the first measured laps, Bottas took the lead in front of Perez, McLarenes Lando Norris and Verstappen. Hamilton got involved in the market on his first attempt, but for the second time he went for a second-place time.

The Ferraris achieved a mixed result on the medium tires: Leclerc ran a lap with a stronger lap, but Vettel didn’t do it twice, only in 14th place with his lap.

For the second run, the Ferraris left the medium tires on the car at great risk. Luckily for Leclerc, no one could really improve on his lap time, so he managed to move on, but Vettel said goodbye to the 15th place timekeeper.

Daniel Ricciardo advanced to 10th place in Q3, but his car was damaged when he slipped against the wall.

Apart from Vettel, Esteban Ocon (Renault), Lance Stroll (Racing Point), Danyiil Kvjat (AlphaTauri) and George Russell (Williams) did not advance.

A Q3-as after the first rises, Bottas took the lead ahead of Bottas and Hamilton, who ran used tires. They were followed by Verstappen and Leclerc. Alexander Albon drew his teammate Verstappen a windbreak on his first lap, and the Thai-British driver also ran his first real fast lap on medium tires.

Ricciardo’s car had to have a rear wing replaced, so the Australian didn’t drive out in Q3.

Everyone put on new tires for the finals, and the Mercedes cars got the medium mix. Hamilton also jumped to the lead temporarily, but Bottas’ response was not missed, 180 thousand ahead of his teammate. However, Hamilton had one more chance, he had driven to the field so much earlier. He managed to improve even in the last minute, earning the 97th pole position of his career ahead of Bottas and Verstappen.

Leclerc finished in fourth place, ahead of Perez and Albon. The fourth row of the starting grid could be occupied by McLaren duo Carlos Sainz and Norris, with the top ten last publishers sharing Gasly and Ricciardo.

The 2020 Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix starts on Sunday afternoon at 2:10 p.m.

Image source (s): Getty Images

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