Everybody looked at Hamilton and Verstappen. The two of them, the two top contenders for the title, had another face-to-face meeting against the clock in the fight for pole this Saturday at the F1 Portuguese GP 2021. They were the favorites. But the excitement of his epic battle made everyone forget about a supporting actor who year after year fails in his attempt to become the protagonist, another contender very capable of ruining both days like this Saturday, although without enough regularity as to fight for the title. Hidden, wanting to say his own, was a Valtteri Bottas who passed them all to the right in Q3 to clinch pole at Portimao by just 7 thousandths against Hamilton.
The Nordic left them all frozen. When everything seemed ready for you Lewis hamilton gave another right to Max in the third round of his particular fight of the century, the theoretical squire of the British, in one of those days that occasionally has inspiration for a lap, he imposed on his leader to ruin the party he had prepared. Valtteri is still determined to want to fight. He doesn’t want to resign himself to wiping the Mercedes champion’s sweat with a towel. He wants to fight, although with more heart than possibilities. However, there are days when Valtteri becomes the champion he wanted to be. Like this Saturday. It seemed like the perfect day for the 7-time world champion to make even more history in Formula 1 by achieving his 100th pole.But the Stevenage man will have to postpone that feast after Valtteri surprised him with a great twist in a crazy classification in which Sainz was the best of the rest, with a great fifth position.
Verstappen, to almost 4 tenths
Valtteri’s surprise came in a day of unexpected Mercedes superiority. After the first two races, between Red Bull and Mercedes the equality was tremendous. But in Portimao, at a turn, those of Brackley became strong remembering that the previous year they were better with the medium rubber than with the soft one. They put that game in their last attempt against a Max who tried it with the soft on a track with very little grip and in which it was difficult to warm up the rubber. This movement allowed the star’s men to take their first blow against a Max who sat in the closed park, thoughtful and crestfallen, aware that things had not gone as expected.
All of this happened before a race that seems exciting at the head. Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen They will start with the medium rubber, thus avoiding a soft one that could give many problems to those who use it at the beginning. Among them will be the triumph, with a Valtteri who generates more doubts than certainties from the first place Having shown too many times in the past year that in the small details, Hamilton gives him a refresher on Sundays as the great racing player that he is.
On the fourth position will go to Pérez with Red Bull, closing the favorites group. Right behind, like the best of the rest, his great friend Carlos Sainz will do it with the Ferrari. The Spaniard, who two weeks ago was angry with himself for making a mistake in his mistake in the Imola classification, amended it in the best way, with a final lap in which he was one tenth of ‘Checo’, beating Ocon (6th) by a hair, Norris (7th) and scoring 3 tenths to his teammate Charles Leclerc.
The Spaniard, despite being still in the process of adapting his Ferrari, managed to find the pure maximum performance of his new car, the greatest challenge for a driver who changes teams. He did so in his third ‘qualy’, sending another message of strength to the ‘tiofosi’, making it clear that he has arrived in Maranello wanting to pull the car.
However, the Spaniard will start with a strategic disadvantage in this Sunday’s race compared to Norris and Leclerc, who were able to get into Q3 with the medium rubber.. This should hurt him, although he will try to solve it with one of his great starts and the good pace shown in free practice. Carlos said his aggressive version of McLaren would arrive. You can start taking her out for a walk.
Alonso sinks in qualifying
If Carlos Sainz was the face, Fernando Alonso was the cross. Alpine seemed to have a car capable of fighting to lead the midfield in Portimao. This was demonstrated by Esteban Ocon, sneaking fourth to Q3 and finishing the classification in sixth position. However, The Oviedo, after the good feelings of the free practice, could not gather his best sectors in a turn that put him in the top 10. The Spaniard will start 13th and, as he said in Imola, he will have to keep improving to find the pure rhythm of his car and reach his best driving level.
Step by Step. At the moment, in that apprenticeship, the Asturian was surprised by the great loss of time he had with respect to free practice. “Regarding the FP3 we have worsened 7 or 8 tenths without gasoline and that is almost a second. We will have to see what happened. We have had much more difficulties compared to the morning ”, commented the Asturian, seeing the glass half full because, at least, he will be able to go out to the race avoiding the graining that those who start with the softs from the Top-10 will have. . “If we have the car at 100% as in FP2 and F3 ·, we can overtake. The points are given tomorrow and avoiding the red tires can be a good tactic “commented on DAZN F1. Fernando wants to come back.