Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Bottas beats Hamilton to pole despite last-lap spin

2020 Austrian Grand Prix qualifying

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Valtteri Bottas took pole position for the first Formula 1 race of 2020 in Austria despite running wide and spinning on his final run.

The Mercedes driver will share the front row of the grid with Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, who had headed all three practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring.

Max Verstappen will line up in third place behind them, with Lando Norris’s McLaren joining him on the second row.


On Friday, George Russell said he thought it unlikely Williams would get one of their cars into Q2. He came very close, however, ending qualifying just 0.073s shy of Romain Grosjean, the last driver to make the cut for Q2, the other Haas of Kevin Magnussen separating the pair.

Russell improved his final effort after losing time one his first run when he encountered traffic at the end of the lap. He beat both Alfa Romeos, relegating Kimi Raikkonen to the back row of the grid. Nicholas Latifi, driving a repaired car after crashing heavily in final practice, claimed the final spot on the grid, almost six tenths of a second slower than his team mate.

Ahead of them the lap times were as close as ever around the short Red Bull Ring. Raikkonen, 19th, was only 1.2s slower than the quickest driver.

For the first time this weekend, that pace setter was not Lewis Hamilton. The world champion had a couple of scruffy runs in his Mercedes, complaining of steering problems after running wide at turn three.

Max Verstappen set the pace, followed by the Mercedes pair. But his team mate Alexander Albon could only manage 12th, six tenths of a second slower than Verstappen, after damaging his front wing.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’05.164
17George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’05.167
18Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’05.175
19Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’05.224
20Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’05.757
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[/CBC]Mercedes showed their hand in the second part of qualifying. Hamilton, looking comfortable in his car once more, produced a 1’03.325 on soft tyres to lead the way, Valtteri Bottas matched his tyre choice in second place.

Red Bull, seeking a strategic edge, sent Verstappen out on mediums tyres. This was a risky decision, with the midfield extremely close behind them. His first run resulted in a 1’04.000, so the team opted to play it safe with a set of softs for his last effort. Ferrari were under serious pressure: Despite using soft tyres for their first runs, Leclerc and Vettel were only eighth and tenth.

Stroll was first to begin his final run but didn’t improve on his fourth-placed time. The Mercedes pair ran again and Bottas relieved Hamilton of first place.

The Ferrari pair struggled to improve on their final runs and Vettel remained in 10th place. That looked vulnerable with Albon 13th and Ocon 14th yet to improve their lap times. Sure enough, Ocon vaulted into the final 10, and Vettel was out.

That put Leclerc down to 10th place but his place was secured as Ocon failed to improve. That meant just one of the six Ferrari-powered cars claimed a place in Q3.

Ocon was unhappy to miss the cut after setting a time over half a second faster than team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who had benefitted from a slipstream on their runs.

“Did we say that I was going behind Daniel in this session and I was always in front?” he asked on the radio afterwards. “Now isn’t the time to talk about these things,” came the reply.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Sebastian VettelFerrari1’04.206
12Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’04.305
13Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’04.431
14Esteban OconRenault1’04.643
15Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’04.691

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Bottas’s first lap of Q3 was a clean one: A 1’02.939 gave him the advantage over Hamilton, who was a tenth off on his first run. It set the pair up for a showdown over their final runs.

Ahead his first run, Bottas’s engineer told him he could find a fraction more time at turn one. But he came unstuck three corners later. The W11 ran slightly wide out of turn four and the gravel trap did the rest, gradually pulling him off the asphalt. He bumped a long way over the infield grass before eventually spinning.

Meanwhile much of the rest of the pack was coming by, including his team mate. “I came out of turn four and there was a big puff of dust,” said Hamilton. “It didn’t really affect the lap.” Nonetheless he fell shy of beating his team mate by just 12 thousandths of a second.

Other drivers did encounter yellow flags as a result of Bottas’s off, including Ricciardo, who was frustrating at having to back off on his only flying run. he ended up 10th.

Lando Norris, meanwhile, had been delayed in the pits on his way out as several drivers tried to pull into the pit lane at once. This turned out to his advantage, and he claimed a fine fourth place on the grid alongside Verstappen.

Albon and Perez claimed row three with identical lap times to within a thousandth of a second, though Albon will start ahead by dint of setting his time first.

Top ten in Q3

1Valtteri BottasMercedes1’02.939
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’02.951
3Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’03.477
4Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’03.626
5Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’03.868
6Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’03.868
7Charles LeclercFerrari1’03.923
8Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’03.971
9Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’04.029
10Daniel RicciardoRenault1’04.239

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2020 Austrian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    137 comments on “Bottas beats Hamilton to pole despite last-lap spin”

    1. That yellow flag was nonsense, no actual danger and it ruined a few people’s lap I think, definitely Ricciardo’s.

      1. I believe for this year system has been automated as there are too few marshals on tracks

        1. Wow, weird. How can you even automate that?

          1. I assume GPS tracers, if one is off of the track or is going slowly.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        4th July 2020, 15:31

        I disagree. Bottas started to go off track and then continued and went off the gravel and round the next corner on the grass, then spun. I can’t understand why people think it was nonsense. Bottas well off track for over 20 seconds…

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          4th July 2020, 15:33

          Admittedly Bottas could have dealt with it better as he managed it fine initially. But how you can think a yellow flag for a car spinning off track isn’t appropriate baffles me. A car tearing round the corner with bottas where he was could potentially be a serious accident.

          1. Indeed Ben. I’m not sure why people are taking it so lightly.

            1. @sebsronnie I really think it is the heavy cultural differences between patriots in the US and those in “non oval racing” … oh fudge it, Europeans.

      3. There should be no room for interpretation and possible serious accidents if misjudged.
        As much as we hate a yellow ruining the laps of some drivers, it is still better than a serious incident.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          4th July 2020, 15:42

          At least we make a point and end our point in out post with very similar words.

          Many don’t understand why they brought out yellows, I don’t understand why they don’t understand. I think many just don’t take safety seriously enough. Some then complain after something serious happens with all the things that should and could have been done. Nothing is wrong with being what seems overly cautious to many regarding anything to do with safety.

      4. @thegianthogweed @coldfly Okay, I accept that my comment was a bit rash and “nonsense” is a harsh word, but I still think the situation didn’t need to warrant an immediate yellow flag. Bottas went straight across the gravel trap, not towards the wall, so he wasn’t in danger of that, and he didn’t come back in a dangerous manner back towards the track (with the cars switching to the other side of the road for the next corner there, it wasn’t a dangerous position to come back after the gravel trap), and afterwards he didn’t even come back to the track, so he didn’t endanger the other drivers. I may be wrong, but to me it was too early for the situation to throw the flag.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          4th July 2020, 16:08

          But it should really be easy to understand that any driver could have potentially done much worse than Bottas, right after Bottas had done it. Any time a driver goes off track and has to slow right down, yellows are appropriate.

          It isn’t to do with how serious the incident is or how they rejoin the track. If there is a driver that has gone off and is going much slower, there is obvious potential danger that if a driver was to do the same, but go off at a higher speed, the end result could be very nasty indeed. Exactly why yellows should be applied to slow everyone down to significantly reduce – or entirely remove the risk of the same or similar thing happening at the same time. Yes this seems unlikely, but it is possible. If it did happen, the amount of complaints about lack of yellow flags would likely be higher than ever.

        2. @hunocsi because despite a near-immediate yellow last (?) year, we had a death and a near death because a car bounced straight back out into oncoming traffic.

          Just imagine…

    2. Failing on my predictions already. Lewis looked like a given.

      1. Agreed, but Bottas has owned Hamilton in Qually around here for the past 3 seasons. I think Bottas somehow goes for more of a qualifying setup and Hamilton concentrates on his race setup, see how the race unfolds.

    3. Worrying signs from Sauber. I hope they have resources to fix the lack of pace, but I doubt it. Kimi to Renault?

      1. Yeah, I didnt even see them.

      2. @huhhii Unlikely. I doubt he’d change a team in F1 anymore.

      3. Kimi to the c

      4. It’s due to ferrari engine tbh, it was very strong till last year, now sucks, see that ferrari struggles to make q3, haas are quite backmarkers and sauber worse, they all use the same engine.

    4. Ricciardo was sounding annoyed.

      1. And Ocon already started moaning..

        “Did we say that I was going behind Daniel in this session and I was always in front?”

    5. Dissappointed with that unnecessary yellow flag. Very, very, very nice job Lando. Let’s see how well is Max on mediums at race, last year was a win-win. And Ferrari… Marchionne’s death made a lot of damage in the team.

      1. Also ask Anthoine Hubert if yellow flags are needed or not

        1. @dallein exactly! and thank you!

          With all the people griping over the need for a halo-like structure in the car, and then losing Bianchi to track mis-management on top of yellow flags, then our more recent loss, it is baffling to see how many people are still so against immediate yellows. I feel like it comes, usually, at the behest of people who just hate “American style speedway racing” which is “too dangerous” and has “constant yellow flags”, so those people want to ensure their dignity remains intact while their motor sport of choice doesn’t toss the yellow flag for jollies.

          I think we’re well past that, and the American style of “caution first, whine later” is better than “race until someone dies, then do the right thing for a couple of weeks”.

      2. Sonny Crockett
        4th July 2020, 16:42

        Looooooove Lando.

        Fast and funny.

        Can’t wait for the Norris / Ricciardo pairing next year.

    6. Will Hamilton be under investigation just like Verstappen last year in Mexico? He set a green in S2 when there were yellow flags. These guys are absolutely crazy, half a second in one minute. This is almost like 2014 or 2016 advantage in qualifying.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        4th July 2020, 15:36

        Hamilton was right behind Bottas on his lap and by the time the yellows came out, he was past it. I think Hamilton will be the only one who got away with it, but it is understandable why.

        1. On the onboard of Bottas, who was the car ahead of Hamilton, there was a black car passing by at the fast left hander just after the corner Bottas made the mistake, and yellow flags were still present if I remember properly. It is a shame laps were stopped because of that.

      2. Max could have probably improved by a tenth or two though. But yeah, the gap is huge.

    7. Phenomenal lap by Norris, well done McLaren. Mercedes is obviously in a different league but Verstappen’s strategy could provide for some excitement tomorrow.

      1. @pironitheprovocateur
        I actually think Verstappen has a huge shot at the race win tomorrow, if he doesn’t mess it up at the start.
        Mercedes may need to sacrifice Hamilton’s strategy to keep Max at bay.

        1. if his strategy is so much better, others would’ve tried it too. i guess it will make less difference than we’re expecting and he may lose some places at the start.

          1. With Mercedes’ advantage this week, I’m surprised they didn’t go for that strategy with at least 1 car.

            Others, of course, would never have made it.

            1. @coldfly Don’t Mercedes pretty much have a policy of never splitting their strategies unless the drivers are in significantly different situations, in case of being accused of favouritism? Not that I agree with the policy, because it’s not necessarily better for the team, just easier for management. And it’s also pretty boring for the fans, especially when it’s a two horse race at the front.

        2. @liko41 just like Bottas has won the last few poles, here, Red Bull have won the last few races.

    8. F1 is back! Finally!

      While I would have liked Lewis on pole, the race is tomorrow, it will be great!

    9. Checo going to be subjected to ‘team orders’?

    10. Hamilton’s bottom must hurt a little bit.
      This is why he would never be better than Michael Schumacher.

      1. @liko41 Care to elaborate?

        1. No, please no. We don’t need him to say more than he wants to.

          1. @gufdamm
            We don’t need YOU to reply, if you don’t have any clue.
            Please, feel free to go fishing.

        2. I don’t think there is anything to add up.
          Bottas beated him fair and square, and it was the fourth time in a row in Austria.
          Now, if we look at THIS championship, nothing is clearly compromised yet, but his legacy is.
          Nobody could really consider him on par with the all time greats if he loses battles against…Bottas, with all due respect.
          One of the greatest? Sure.
          On the same league with Schumacher, Senna, Clark? Nope.

          1. Remind me how many times Rosberg beat Schumacher? Schumacher’s legacy was damaged when he came back to F1 and got beaten multiple seasons by a relatively inexperienced Rosberg.

            1. @davidjwest
              ROTFL. 41 year-old Schumacher, coming back from three year retirement.
              Dude, you are making a fool of yourself.

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            4th July 2020, 17:42

            Even though I’m a fan of Bottas, Hamilton was faster in qualifying last year, just earned himself a penalty which resulted in Bottas starting ahead. Bottas clearly was better in the race though. In 2017, Hamilton had a penalty coming and although Bottas won, Hamilton wasn’t that far off Bottas time wise despite not even finishing on the podium. In 2018, Bottas got pole but by the first corner had lost it to Hamilton, kimi and Verstappen. He made up 2 places.

            He’s overall looked better than Hamilton here but hasn’t beaten Hamilton fair and square here each year. He’s just started every race ahead of Hamilton and finished 2 out of 2 that we can judge, one of which Hamilton had a penalty.

            I also think in a way you are being a bit against Bottas. I’d say it is more impressive by Bottas that he’s this close to Hamilton. Rather than a negative for hamilton that Bottas is managing to beat him at times.

            1. @thegianthogweed
              I don’t want to take anything away from Bottas, but I think we might agree he is a great driver. Not a champion, though.
              I just don’t think drivers like Schumacher, Jim Clark or Senna would lose/being outqualified/overperformed by Bottas as often as Hamilton.

      2. Yep, he got spanked again by his journeyman teammate. 😂

      3. God… this last 6-7 years must have been very brutal on you watching him go from 1 WDC to the point he’ll most likely equal Schumacher at the end of this year.

        1. Any decent driver would have won those 5 titles at Mercedes, Hamilton is getting spanked by a journeyman.

          1. Yes because since 2007 Hamilton never proved to be worthy of those titles.
            He never ever raced in the same car against other champions, like Alonso, Button, Rosberg… if he did he would have lost so so badly…
            And if Vettel suddenly had an equal car to the Mercedes for 1-1.5 seasons then he would have lost again for sure…

            Good thing for him that he won the lottery and Mercedes without any reason whatsoever picked him to spend 40mil/year when they could have picked Nick Heidfeld for example and win the same amount of titles… stupid Mercedes

            1. I’m sorry but what title did Hamilton win in 2007?

              He has won each and every title whilst paired up with poor teammates, Verstappen would wipe the floor with Hamilton in any metric possible driving that Mercedes.

            2. Wass85 I never said he won the title in 2007, he could have though, as rookie against the fresh 2xWDC Alonso, but McLaren’s “weird” decisions kept him from doing it.
              He still beat Alonso in the same car and he beat Button 2-1 in the same car and he beat Rosberg 3-1 in the same car…Rosberg who beat Schumacher and won a WDC for himself. He also beat Vettel in 2018 with an equal car.
              He’s 7 wins shy of Schumacher’s record of 91 with 57 races fewer!!! and with much much less assistance from the team like Schumacher had with Barrichello.

              As for Verstappen if and when he reaches double-digit wins and if and when he mouts a challenge for the WDC, and i sure hope he does this year, then he might be considered when we talk about 1-times-WDCs and other worthy drivers… the all-time-great league he is a long way ahead but he can always dream of equalling Lewis…

            3. Black.
              Hamilton drew level with Alonso on points and this was an Alonso at war with the team. To suggest he received equal treatment after Spygate is comical.

              Wow so he beat Button, a driver never known for his blistering pace and a Rosberg who got destroyed by Mark Webber.

              The facts are Hamilton would get destroyed now by any top talented youngster.

            4. Wass85
              Well to be specific Hamilton finished 2nd in the official standings in 2007 and Alonso 3rd. And even if you want to say they were even, Alonso, the fresh 2xWDC who was unbeatable at that time, who ended Schumacher’s reign, lost to a rookie, even with all the support of the world, HE LOST TO A ROOKIE!!! Let that sink in. And when you bring the ‘no equal treatment’ please also remember who was the one who threw his team under the bus because he couldn’t accept the fact that he was losing…to a rookie.

              So if Alonso, Button, Rosberg and Vettel don’t count (throw in also Raikkonen in the mix), they are the last 5 WDCs before Hamilton after all…then who do you acknowledge as a ‘good’ driver that Lewis has to beat in order to accept he’s better? (it’s never going to happen because we both know you’ll never accept that fact but anyway…)

              The facts are Hamilton would get destroyed now by any top talented youngster.

              The fact is, that you don’t know the word “fact” means. You’re welcome to open any dictionary and check it out.
              But since you went down that road of stating bulletproof facts (like: Rosberg who got destroyed by Mark Webber) then i might as well:
              In 2017 Verstappen lost to Ricciardo ► In 2015 Ricciardo lost to Kvyat ►
              In 2017 Kvyat lost to Sainz ► In 2018 Sainz lost to Hulkenberg ►
              In 2010 Hulkenberg lost to Barrichello ► In 2009 Barrichello lost to Button ►
              In 2010 Button lost to Hamilton ► …so therefore Verstappen <<< Hamilton
              and if continue stating "facts" we can end up with this:
              Verstappen <<< Hamilton < Rosberg < Webber < Heidfeld
              Aren't facts fun ?

            5. Black-
              The facts are Bottas beat Hamilton yet again in qualifying when the car is fast enough for pole.

              There goes the myth that Hamilton is the fastest over one lap, all he has over Bottas is the ability to nurse the tyres better.

              So basically Hamilton is more of a Prost than a Senna, a driver who he compares himself to and idolises.

              He just hasn’t got the blistering speed of the fastest drivers of all time.

            6. @black
              Vettel is not a good comparison.
              Bottas is. And he is beaten Hammy a little too many times.

            7. @liko41
              Sure very convenient, pick just the facts you like, not the ones you don’t have an answer to

        2. @black
          It actually wasn’t.
          I am a fan of him, when he drives.
          I just don’t think he is on the same level of Schumacher and Senna, since neither of them would have lost so often against Bottas.

          1. Why do you think Bottas is a slouch?

            1. @sebsronnie
              Nope. I have massive respect for Valtteri.
              Was Gerhard Berger a slouch? ANd Rubens Barrichello?
              Anyone of them was a slouch.
              And true legends of the sport wiped the floor with them far more comfortably than Hamilton with Bottas.
              That was my point.

          2. He hasn’t lost against Bottas has he?
            Go back to bed.

          3. NeverElectric
            4th July 2020, 17:18

            Having seen @liko41‘s comments regarding Hamilton on the BLM articles, it should be obvious that @liko41‘shatred of Lewis stems from the latter’s skin colour first and foremost. Engaging @liko41 on anything involving Hamilton is therefore a waste of time – you cannot educate a racist.
            The burning cross is in plain sight.

            1. I don’t think that’s fair! @luko41 is talking nonsense, no doubt, but racist? Come on. Saying this just shuts down debate and is a word being thrown around too often by this left leaning movement. On topic: doesn’t matter what @liko41 says. He can’t rewrite the history books. It’s gonna be a painful year seeing Schumacher toppled. Hehehehe

            2. I think it does matter what he says if its racist and it is fair to call him out if so. That being said, you should really quote specifics if you’re going to make such a claim.

            3. @NeverElectric
              It”s obvious you did not attend school as long as you should.
              You are a fangirl, not worth losing any more time with you.

          4. @liko41 First he didn’t lose to Bottas, he was only outqualified in 1!!! race.

            I just don’t think he is on the same level of Schumacher and Senna, since neither of them would have lost so often against Bottas

            And second by the same logic, in 2002 & 2004, the 2 most dominant seasons of Schumacher, Barrichello took 5/17 & 4/18 poles in those seasons. WHERE WAS SCHUMACHER THEN ???? WAS SCHUMACHER ACTUALLY GOOD OR WAS HE IN FACT EVEN WORSE THAN JEAN-DENIS DELATRAZ ??? THESE ARE SOME HARD TO ARGUE FACTS !!!

            1. Don’t let facts get in the way of slating Lewis eh! 😀

            2. @black
              On those seasons drivers qualified with the fuel load they used on the first stint of the race, hence qualifying outcomes were heavily influenced by race strategies.
              It does prove nothing.

          5. Exactly my point. The supposed fastest driver in F1 wouldn’t be getting his ass handed to him so easily by the teams number 2 if he was really that special.

            Ultimate speed wise Hamilton couldn’t carry Senna or Schumacher’s jockstrap.

            1. Maybe, maybe not. The record books will still have Lewis as the most successful driver of all time. Whine all you want but you won’t change that. Lewis Carl Hamilton: a mixed race Englishman standing top of the pile. That’s gotta bite! 😀 As you were.

            2. The record books just show who’s been sat in the most successful team for the longest.

              Look at Hamilton’s wins over his teammates percentage wise and he’s not even close to being the best driver of all time.

      4. NeverElectric
        4th July 2020, 23:19

        If Hamilton wins – as I expect him to – we will see this duck telling us how his car was faster than Valteri’s. Enjoyable stuff! hahahah

        1. No retard I will just say how rubbish Bottas is, if Hamilton struggles this much against a driver of that calibre I’d hate to see what it would be like against Verstappen…..

          1. He’ll just cruise around on the track until Verstappen crashes all by himself and he’ll take the lead effortlessly?

        2. @NeverElectric being wrong once again.
          What a surprise!

      5. Nik (@nickelodeon81)
        4th July 2020, 23:30

        Based on one qualifying session on one track in which Bottas has won pole 3 times In the past 4 years? Seems strange to ignore most of the other races where Hamilton beat Bottas and won…WDCs.

    11. How can Ferrari be so slow? It seems like Mclaren is really making some good progress but RP wasn’t so fast as predicted

      1. By being slow on the straights and high speed corners. Not fastest in slow stuff either. And they ditch their star driver. Must be a great place of work today.

        1. ditched their star driver than gets paid 8 times more than the other one that again is faster than him.
          i see no mistake there.

          1. they didn’t even make an offer to pay him less. Don’t defend the atrocity Ferrari has become.

            1. and you really think he would accept an offer to get less money than charles and be his wingman? Last year he didnt enjoy that role so much, even with his 4 times WDC number one pay.
              Ferrari knew he wouldn’t take it so they didn’t even dare to lose time with it.

      2. McLarens race pace so a decent bit down on RP

      3. Could they revert to the 2019 car?

        1. Given most of the lost performance of that car was from cheating on engine power, it might be even worse.

    12. Bottas, the fastest landmower in the world.

      1. Some great grass donuts too!

    13. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      4th July 2020, 15:19

      The depressing thing is that ignoring Mercedes the rest of the grid look very competitive – P3 downwards looks like it could be a great fun fight. But there’s no fight at the front. Hope the race will be a little more surprising and fun than this indicates.

    14. Not sure if Red Bulls strategy for Verstappen gives him an actual advantage. It’s different, but better? He’ll be slower at the start and possibly overtaken between turn 1 and 3.

      1. The soft tires this weekend is C4. They are compared to the old Ultra.

        The Ultras would demand a pitstop between 10-15 laps, Before that the speed would be taken out of them.
        So Verstappen probably only have to defend the first couple of laps. from there on pressure the Mercs to wear out their tires even faster, thus screwing up their ideal strategy. Verstappen should be able to do 45 laps on the C3 and be able to be in the clear when he changes his tires.

        1. Im sure you didn’t factor the one lap advantage the Mercedes has. There will be no pressure from max on the Mercedes during the race.

          1. Ricardo Rosset
            4th July 2020, 16:29

            Mercs may have to clear Racing Point and Mclarens by 25 seconds or so before pitting. That in 15 laps.
            Otherwise they could rejoin the track behind them and lose time.
            Mac won’t have that problem if he At least defends his position on the start.

            1. IMO I think there is a greater possibility of Max losing positions at the start to the cars around him than them being a burden to Mercedes during the race. Even if that isn’t the case, I believe the Mercs have the pace to extend their stint til that window appears. Max is in no position to command the pace tomorrow unfortunately. Which is the only way I see their strategy working.

        2. And what about DAS? Have you factored this into your wishful thinking? Doesn’t DAS assist with tyre degradation? Which merc are already pretty good at managing. Still… there’s always hope.

    15. This could be a big opportunity for Perez. Verstappen starting on Mediums + RB twitchy backend, Norris’s Maclaren didn’t have good race pace in practice, Albon hasn’t had much experience in the car. Tracing Point has good race pace and Perez is great in the first few laps, can see him getting to 3rd within 6 laps. Then Verstappen will be chasing him for the podium for the whole race.

      1. @shakennotstirred Neither has his teammate much experience in the current car due to the long-hiatus, so I don’t quite get that point. Other than that, yes, could be an opportunity for Checo.

      2. McLaren didn’t have good qualy pace either yet Norris is in P4.

    16. Did bottas pull a rosberg with that off?…

      1. No he did not. He would be silly to try to make it so authentic. Thats very dangerous.

      2. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        4th July 2020, 17:14

        Unlikely. He’s got gravel and grass stuck in his floor, and as someone from Sky mentioned towards the end, they won’t be allowed to clean that up in parc ferme conditions unless special dispensation is granted (breaking the curfew).

    17. Ferrari is 9 tenths slower than last year. Alfa Romeo is 1 second slower than last year. Haas is 0.6s slower than last year. Every other team has improved their 2019 teams by at least a coupe of tenths except for Red Bull, that have been a couple of hundredths slower.

      The 3 Ferrari teams are massively slower than in 2019. That’s interesting.

      1. Imagine being HAAS in this scenario.

        We fixed the aero issue and the tires are holding up, yay!

        Oh now we have this brick with 2 italian mice runnign around in it for an engine.. great.

        1. I don’t know what is going wrong when ferrari will give them a decent engine. Maybe they will get a pay driver

      2. Alfa Romeo is a disaster. Kimi won’t be a champion in this car. They should immediately start working on completely new car without waiting next year. So they can do second season half in a new car.

    18. Mercedes already controlling the story of the season to come.

      If Hamilton won every pole and every race, we’d say it was boring.
      Sure Hamilton has the faster car, but now with Bottas taking pole we have a few questions more to ask ahead of the season.

      As for Ferarri. what can you see except no more jet fuel to rely on.

    19. Bottas 3.0: Someone’s been at the lawnmower racing on lockdown!

    20. If only the Mercedes could dare to hire another competitive driver instead of Bottas, there would be at least some fight at the front.

      1. Retard alert, did you not watch him destroy Hamilton? 😂

        1. I wouldn’t say destroy… but Bottas keeps him honest in qualy. his race pace cannot match Hamiltons though.

          1. “Destroyed!” God knows what time he would have posted had he not run wide.
            And yes his race pace has been off but he claims he’s fixed it. Bottas will be champion this season.

            1. He might well be ;)

        2. Er I believe that’s sarcasm, all ‘break’ a lot folks have been rooting for his departure…

        3. William Jones
          4th July 2020, 18:57

          I see the trolls are back – as long as doing it stops them self medicating their mental health by hitting their wives or whatever. Still, friends, it’s been a wonderful extended break where I got to chat with you all, but I’ll be turning comments off for now, my time is worth more than watching yappy little americans call each other retards. I’ll be over at Shift f1.

    21. NeverElectric
      4th July 2020, 16:02

      That Bottas incident on the last run of Q3, with Lewis putting in a stonking first sector behind him, reminded me of Rosberg at Mirabeau, Monaco 2014… hahaha. Clever, Valteri.

      1. Lewis himself stated it had no influence on his time.

      2. Err…. Lewis was slower in the first sector on his last lap…..

        1. Hey Wass… Enjoy the good times. They have been few and far between the last 6 years. I get it, you need relief from Lewis cleaning up. Enjoy My friend, for the good times don’t/won’t last long. How does “Lewis Hamilton: 7 x WDC sound? Enjoy the crumbs.

          1. This wass85 proclaims that he is a Hamilton fan lol.

          2. That’s to be expected when you have journeymen for teammates, hell I think I’d beat Bottas on a Sunday. 😂😂😂

    22. What’s happening to Ferrari? Really worrying given the backward step they seem to have taken! And Vettel as well, how far he has fallen!

      1. @lems I can’t help wondering if SV has gone from surprise and disappointment at not being re-signed, to glee that he is going to be free to sign with a better team, of which there are now more.

        1. @robbie my greatest fear right now is blue flags for the red cars as a black car laps them, it scares me!!!!

    23. Ferrari seems to be all nostalgic and repeating their 2014 season. But that year was the first of new regulations, 2020 was supposed to be the last of these regulations. How Ferrari has messed up this bad after 2017,2018,2019 is baffling.

    24. Bottas 3.0? 😂

      1. @yaru ,never😂😂😂😂

    25. It takes “very special skills” to have almost 400 millions of Euro in a budget of F1 team, and to be able to produce, after all the work and testing, a racing car that is almost one second slower than a car that you had a year ago – if you do not know how, ask Scuderia Ferrari, they can tell you the “secret”…

    26. Hamilton seemed a bit flat afterwards, not his usual self but not his annoyed but trying to hide it self

      1. Of course he was, he thought he had it in the bag after the practice sessions but then Bottas unleashed what he’d been holding back and boom, a slap straight in the face.

        Hamilton was determined to make a statement but the journeyman had other ideas.

    27. That was a stellar lap by bottas! Without a tow too!

      1. Quite amazing really, just imagine what time he would have set with a tow off Hamilton in the first sector.

    28. First time HAM hasn’t taken pole in the opener during the T-H era.

    29. It was a good tussle between bottas and hamilton. And by recent history in qualy at this track bottas seems to be the better. But thats just THIS track. And knowing lewis he will not take this lying down.

    30. Damn, I must be really the top conspiracy theorist on the site!

      First of all, I like competition for hamilton ofc since mercedes proved to be way too strong the last years, so only bottas has the car to do so, however: bottas makes the fastest time in the first lap, then makes a mistake and goes off track, provoking yellow flags, hamilton doesn’t beat his time by 12 thousands, first thing I thought is it could be purposeful, with schumacher at monaco 2006 people were a lot faster at accusing him of cheating.

    31. That was a big slap in the face for Hamilton and his fans who felt he had it wrapped up after practice.

      The Finn though was clearly sandbagging and unleashed his full potential and showed the world what the car is capable of.

      Hamilton was completely gobsmacked that he couldn’t beat Bottas’ time with two attempts. The scary thing is Bottas was up on his time when he went off and said he had more time in the bag.

      In reality it looked like Bottas had a 5-7 tenth advantage over Hamilton, this is gigantic around such a small track.

      Bottas has got the raw speed Hamilton just can’t match at 35, all he needs to do know his learn how to nurse the tyres. It’s a bad sport when the faster driver gets punished for having more ability and raw speed.

    32. And to top it off virtue signalling Hamilton seems to be in trouble.

      Toto Wolff has now confirmed that the teams new black livery may cause overheating problems.

      I will roll on the floor if Hamilton retires whilst being stuck on Bottas’ gearbox, this could be the season we say goodbye to the diva once and for all.

      It’s time to move on to politics and leave the proper racing drivers to race.

      1. Lol, if this is true.
        I had already wondered if Mercedes made that mistake, and I reckoned they wouldn’t be that stupid…

    33. Every qualifying I remain amazed by the atrocious and abominable directing and editting.
      Going back to the 1 hour qualifying format of the 90s would do alot of good in the sense that you can actually see the drivers drive a complete lap.

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