Bottas misses pole despite being fastest in all three sectors

Lap time watch: 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas knows he had a car quick enough for pole position – he set the fastest time in all three sectors of the Autodromo do Algarve.

Had he strung them all together on the same lap he would have set a 1’16.406 – good enough for pole position by a good two-tenths of a second. It’s rare to see a driver manage to set fastest times in all three sectors yet miss out on pole position.

“It’s a difficult track to put everything together because of how slippery it is and just the way the track it,” said Bottas. “It’s so tricky to nail every single corner on one lap.”

Unsurprisingly, Bottas ended the session convinced there was “more to come” from his car. “The pace has been there all weekend so for sure it’s annoying but that’s how it is.”

The variable grip levels produces several unusual results. Max Verstappen was in the mix with the Mercedes drivers in Q1, but was unable to beat that initial effort in the subsequent sessions, and ended up three-tenths of a second behind them in third.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020
Gasly couldn’t repeat his practice pace in qualifying
Charles Leclerc will join him on the second row of the grid after another superb lap. However Ferrari aren’t the third-quickest team so far this weekend – that honour goes to AlphaTauri.

Pierre Gasly began Saturday in superb form, setting a 1’16.930 in final practice. Not only has that time only been beaten by Mercedes and Red Bull drivers, Gasly was unable to improve on it in qualifying.

Not only did he lap slower than that in Q1, but he continued to get slower in Q2 and again in Q3. he eventually qualified ninth on the grid with a lap eight tenths of a second slower than his best. Had he repeated his final practice form, he’d’ve been fourth on the grid.

While Nicholas Latifi lines up on the back row of the grid, his team mate made it into Q2 again, lifting Williams to eighth among the 10 teams.

The slowest team this weekend is Haas. After the session Romain Grosjean, whose coming departure from the team has been confirmed, revealed they have had a suspension problems since the beginning of the season which they cannot solve, and it is proving especially bad this weekend.

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Fastest sector times

DriverSector 1Sector 2Sector 3
Lewis Hamilton22.266 (3)29.292 (2)25.035 (2)
Valtteri Bottas22.221 (1)29.262 (1)24.923 (1)
Max Verstappen22.266 (3)29.371 (3)25.064 (3)
Charles Leclerc22.440 (12)29.465 (4)25.101 (4)
Sergio Perez22.392 (10)29.506 (5)25.164 (7)
Alexander Albon22.340 (7)29.628 (8)25.176 (8)
Carlos Sainz Jnr22.263 (2)29.539 (6)25.335 (15)
Lando Norris22.277 (5)29.758 (13)25.237 (11)
Pierre Gasly22.279 (6)29.624 (7)25.159 (6)
Daniel Ricciardo22.429 (11)29.712 (11)25.122 (5)
Esteban Ocon22.533 (15)29.756 (12)25.197 (9)
Lance Stroll22.389 (9)29.650 (9)25.315 (13)
Daniil Kvyat22.364 (8)29.779 (14)25.310 (12)
George Russell22.447 (13)30.002 (16)25.325 (14)
Sebastian Vettel22.509 (14)29.658 (10)25.226 (10)
Kimi Raikkonen22.595 (16)30.033 (17)25.528 (18)
Antonio Giovinazzi22.756 (18)30.099 (18)25.457 (16)
Romain Grosjean22.817 (20)29.928 (15)25.536 (19)
Kevin Magnussen22.781 (19)30.156 (19)25.518 (17)
Nicholas Latifi22.608 (17)30.253 (20)25.633 (20)

Teams best laps comparison

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2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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    Author information

    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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