Watch: Bottas frustrates Hamilton’s attempts at milestone pole in Portugal
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Finland’s Valtteri Bottas took pole position for the Portuguese F1 Grand Prix ahead of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton completing a Mercedes front-row lockout in qualifying.
Hamilton’s pursuit of a 100th pole was delayed when Bottas earned the 17th P1 of his career.
Bottas denies Hamilton 100th F1 pole in Portugal
“It’s a good feeling to be on pole,” said Bottas.
“Feels like it’s been a while. It’s been a weak point for me in the first two races. The team have been working hard all weekend and we have a good position for tomorrow.”
Max Verstappen, one point off Hamilton in the drivers’ standings, took third on Sunday’s grid with his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez alongside him on the second row in Portimao.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz came in fifth ahead of the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris, in a McLaren, and his teammate Charles Leclerc.
Sebastian Vettel earned tenth place, outqualifying his teammate for the first time since completing his move from Ferrari to Aston Martin.
Hamilton lauds team
Hamilton paid tribute to Bottas and the Mercedes team for landing them both on the front row.
“It was not expected. We have to be happy for that, it was not the perfect lap but I gave it everything,” Hamilton said.
“You can never be satisfied, we exist to keep moving forward but I’m happy with what we’re doing and the steps we’re taking.”
Hamilton narrowly leads the 2021 championship after he won the opener in Bahrain before his Dutch rival Verstappen hit back in the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola.
Starting grid for Sunday’s Portuguese F1 Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)
Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda)
Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull-Honda)
Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari)
Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault)
Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)
Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)
Pierre Gasly (FRA/AlphaTauri-Honda)
Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes)
George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes)
Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)
Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault)
Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Honda)
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes)
Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes)
Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes)
Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari)
Nikita Mazepin (RUS/Haas-Ferrari)