Portuguese GP: Bottas completes practice sweep at Portimao

Luke Smith
·4 min read

Bottas headed the timesheets in both FP1 and FP2 at Portimao, and was able to maintain his advantage over Hamilton in the final practice session on Saturday morning.

After both Mercedes drivers reported a lack of grip and struggles getting up to speed at Portimao on Friday, they were quickly able to beat the benchmark set during a messy second practice session that was interrupted by red flags and stoppages.

Bottas and Hamilton opted to focus on soft compound tyre running through the session, trading fastest times back and forth.

Hamilton was able to set the initial pace for Mercedes, only for Bottas to hit back and ultimately set a time of 1m16.654s to edge out his teammate by 0.026 seconds.

Although the lap was set with 25 minutes remaining in the session, it was enough to give Bottas P1 as drivers focused on higher fuel runs towards the end of FP3.

Hamilton lost one of his final qualifying simulations on the soft compound tyre after making a mistake at Turn 8, causing him to run into the gravel.

Max Verstappen was left to settle for third place for Red Bull, but briefly took top spot after beating Hamilton's initial benchmark, only for his time to be deleted after he exceeded track limits at Turn 1.

The Dutchman ultimately finished the session 0.158 seconds shy of Bottas' time, albeit setting his best lap on the medium compound tyre.

A number of drivers running on the soft tyres reported they were struggling with tyre warm-up, continuing the trend from yesterday's practice running that saw most set a fastest time on their second flying lap of a run.

Pierre Gasly bounced back from his fiery end to Friday's running by finishing fourth for AlphaTauri, lapping within three tenths of a second of Bottas' fastest time.

Alexander Albon took fifth in the sister Red Bull car, two tenths back from teammate Verstappen, while Charles Leclerc led Ferrari's charge in sixth. Leclerc suffered one early spin at Turn 14, and reported late in the session that he could hear Hamilton's team radio in the cockpit.

McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris took seventh and ninth place respectively, split by the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, while Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10 for Renault.

Sebastian Vettel finished 11th for Ferrari, half a second back from teammate Leclerc. Vettel reported a loose drain cover he had run over at the exit of Turn 14 late in the session, meaning FP3 was red-flagged with one minute remaining on the clock and did not resume.

Vettel was followed by the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat in 12th place and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen in 13th.

Daniel Ricciardo could only finish 14th for Renault after reporting an issue with DRS on his car, bringing his session to an early end as he only completed 13 laps.

George Russell took 15th for Williams ahead of Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi, followed by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen in 18th. Nicholas Latifi and Romain Grosjean propped up the timesheets in 19th and 20th respectively.

1

Finland
Finland

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Power+
Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Power+

Mercedes

27

1'16.654

2

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Power+
Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Power+

Mercedes

23

1'16.680

0.026

3

Netherlands
Netherlands

Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing-Honda RB16
Red Bull Racing-Honda RB16

Red Bull

21

1'16.812

0.158

4

France
France

Pierre Gasly

AlphaTauri-Honda AT01
AlphaTauri-Honda AT01

AlphaTauri

24

1'16.930

0.276

5

Thailand
Thailand

Alex Albon

Red Bull Racing-Honda RB16
Red Bull Racing-Honda RB16

Red Bull

25

1'17.117

0.463

6

Monaco
Monaco

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari SF1000
Ferrari SF1000

Ferrari

20

1'17.229

0.575

7

Spain
Spain

Carlos Sainz Jr.

McLaren-Renault MCL35
McLaren-Renault MCL35

McLaren

24

1'17.238

0.584

8

Mexico
Mexico

Sergio Perez

Racing Point-BWT Mercedes RP20
Racing Point-BWT Mercedes RP20

Racing Point

17

1'17.297

0.643

9

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Lando Norris

McLaren-Renault MCL35
McLaren-Renault MCL35

McLaren

22

1'17.478

0.824

10

France
France

Esteban Ocon

Renault R.S.20
Renault R.S.20

Renault

20

1'17.666

1.012

11

Germany
Germany

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari SF1000
Ferrari SF1000

Ferrari

24

1'17.685

1.031

12

Russian Federation
Russian Federation

Daniil Kvyat

AlphaTauri-Honda AT01
AlphaTauri-Honda AT01

AlphaTauri

29

1'17.720

1.066

13

Finland
Finland

Kimi Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari C39
Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari C39

Alfa Romeo

20

1'17.922

1.268

14

Australia
Australia

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault R.S.20
Renault R.S.20

Renault

13

1'17.935

1.281

15

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

George Russell

Williams-Mercedes FW43
Williams-Mercedes FW43

Williams

20

1'18.032

1.378

16

Canada
Canada

Lance Stroll

Racing Point-BWT Mercedes RP20
Racing Point-BWT Mercedes RP20

Racing Point

17

1'18.100

1.446

17

Italy
Italy

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari C39
Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari C39

Alfa Romeo

20

1'18.201

1.547

18

Denmark
Denmark

Kevin Magnussen

Haas-Ferrari VF-20
Haas-Ferrari VF-20

Haas

13

1'18.287

1.633

19

Canada
Canada

Nicholas Latifi

Williams-Mercedes FW43
Williams-Mercedes FW43

Williams

20

1'18.397

1.743

20

France
France

Romain Grosjean

Haas-Ferrari VF-20
Haas-Ferrari VF-20

Haas

19

1'18.454

1.800

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