Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix grid

2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Row 11. Valtteri Bottas 1’18.348
2. Lewis Hamilton 1’18.355
Row 23. Max Verstappen 1’18.746
Red Bull
4. Sergio Perez 1’18.890
Red Bull
Row 35. Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’19.039
6. Esteban Ocon 1’19.042
Row 47. Lando Norris 1’19.116
8. Charles Leclerc 1’19.306
Row 59. Pierre Gasly 1’19.375
10. Sebastian Vettel 1’19.659
Aston Martin
Row 611. George Russell 1’19.109
12. Antonio Giovinazzi 1’19.216
Alfa Romeo
Row 713. Fernando Alonso 1’19.456
14. Yuki Tsunoda 1’19.463
Row 815. Kimi Raikkonen 1’19.812
Alfa Romeo
16. Daniel Ricciardo 1’19.839
Row 917. Lance Stroll 1’19.913
Aston Martin
18. Nicholas Latifi 1’20.285
Row 1019. Mick Schumacher 1’20.452
20. Nikita Mazepin 1’20.912

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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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64 comments on “2021 Portuguese Grand Prix grid”

  1. Well that was a very anti-climactic Q3! Strange tyre decisions by Pirelli.

    Good to see, though, Perez again close to Verstappen, Sainz finally putting a clean quali together, and Alpine showing some pace.

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      1st May 2021, 16:06

      You mean Ocon.

      1. Alonso will beat him tomorrow

        1. It won’t be easy for Ocon.

      2. in fp alonso was there and so was ricciardo, vettel was nowhere, in q all changed. Leclerc was quicker on mediums and sainz was quicker on softs, bizarre stuff. some teams and alot of drivers are grasping at straws.

        1. I suspect a split strategy on the engine set up. With norris engine on 10+ to qualify, and riccardo on 9, to preserved the engine for race conditions. eg, the way the car qualifies is the way they race – these days.

          Its strange though that Riccardo should appear completely mystified.

        2. @peartree They mentioned that wind was very strong and gusty, that should play for something and I’m surprised teams haven’t gone for more time laps. Obviously depending where and what you catch for wind, it might make a “massive” difference on your lap.

          Conditions got worse at end of Q3, and it looks like Hamiltion Q2 lap on medium was in a sweet spot. Probably not factored in the engineers algorithms and looked over.

          Given all that, all the more surprised to see Russell in P11 with a Williams that should be sensitive to wind. Maybe the situation was such that it didn’t make any difference to Williams anymore but brought back the pack at them?

      3. @canadianjosh Well, yes, Ocon… driving an Alpine

  2. Dora anybody still believe the fairy tale of RB being clear favorites this year? It’ll be a walk in the park for MB (best car by far) and Lewis as usual.

    1. I do. Max would have been on pole by 3 tenths, but had the tiniest TL infraction on his first lap (and I’m not saying that it wasn’t the right decision, it was) and then traffic on the second (the second was probably not gonna be great, but the traffic definitely didn’t help). Once RB’s drivers can nail down the consistency I think they can definitely challenge this season, especially as they seem to out-develop the Mercs throughout the season in terms of relative gap.

      1. Good luck then…

        1. I’m not necessarily saying that RB will dominate, but I don’t think Merc have the fastest car ‘by miles’. RB have started the season much stronger than normal, and when you consider that half of RB’s wins in the hybrid era, and most of the ones won on merit, have come in the second half of the season (and some of those in the first half have come from circumstance, e.g. Canada 2014, Spain 2016, Baku 2017, Austria 2018), and when you consider how much closer RB were to the Mercs at the end of last season than the start of it (well, Max at least), then I think there is the potential for a good title battle.

          It is a similar position to Ferrari in 2017/2018, but I think the main reason they didn’t win the title was them consistently failing to get the results from Mercedes when it mattered.

          1. Despite some delusional Hamilton fan who’s always desperate to boost his ego, Ferrari never had the best car in 17/18 nor has RB this year. It’s as simple as that.

          2. Bio

            I’m not a Hamilton fan. I don’t really support anyone really, I just wanna see a good race.

            I think the Ferrari in 2017 and 2018 was, a bit like the RB this year, the fastest car at some race tracks. Again, a bit like this year, the 2017 Merc had a very narrow setup window, and when it was there, it was rapid. If it wasn’t, then they struggled a bit more, while still being a comfortable second. In 2018, Hamilton trailed Vettel for a large portion of the first half of the season. It was only due to mistakes by Vettel (and there were a lot of them) that the title really fell towards Hamilton easily.

          3. Vettel did a lot of mistakes beacuse the car wasn’t clearly on par with Mercedes, only blind people can’t see it. The fact that he was in front early in the season was only up to circumstances.

      2. What you’re saying is that VER went off-track, therefore getting an advantage… as we all know! When he kept the car on-track, he was 0.3sec slower. How can that be the best car, huh? If going off-track doesn’t mean anything, then Mazepin might be on PP. Plus, Mercedes qualified on the slower tyre! They’re are obviously 1 step ahead of everybody again: they built their car to perform best with the most used tyre (overall) over the season: medium.

        1. Yeah, because going off track by 5cm at T4 after a big twitch in T3 and still setting comfortably the fastest time isn’t an indicator that the Red Bull is the fastest car? Lol.

          He was never close on his second run. Maybe the pressure got to him?

          Q2 times are no indicator of outright speed. The only requirement is to get into Q3. Plus, Red Bull qualified on the slower tyre as well!

          1. Or maybe the Mercedes is just a better car

    2. Max would’ve probably been on pole without the mistake on his first run.

      1. Mistake… or that’s how good the car is (= not stable)? Or he gained an unfair advantage?! Perez did the same mistake, same place. RBR is obviously not as planted as Mercedes.

    3. By far? 😁

      1. Yes, I’ll say it again of you like, by far

    4. Well, clear favourites, not sure that was really on anyway. I do think they had the faster car going in to the season (but not by much overall); they didn’t get a clean run so failed to make hay when it was good for them, I always thought Mercedes were going to come back at them.

      Anyway, as Anon and @hotbottoms mention, Verstappen could have been clear on pole yet again ie. he+RBR seemed the potentially fastest. But by no means dominant enough to allow for much mistakes or misfortune.

      1. Hamilton also had mistakes and thus pace in hand. Very few drivers had laps without mistakes.

        1. Exactely, on top of that you don’t get the pole with your second driver of you don’t have the best car by quite some margin…and btw the most impressive thing was their lap time with the soft in Q2, not the pole run.

          1. Correction: medium, not soft

          2. Exactly. Everyone can see that Bottas is bang average yet that Merc has handed him a pole.

    5. Max still posted the fastest time in Q3 even with the moment. This was a bit of a weird session with the wind, hard to read.
      But I agree, I get a sneaky feeling that this battle will turn in favor of Mercedes pretty quickly.

      1. Max still posted the fastest time in Q3 even with the moment.

        Yeah, cause he went off-track and gained an unfair advantage. The moment he kept the car within limits… 0.3sec slower.

        1. Keep saying it, dude. He blew pole.

          1. Yes he did. Verstappen blew it.

    6. Verstappen was clearly faster than the Mercs in Q3 on softs, as his deleted lap showed.

      1. He went off track for that time so no, he wasnt faster. He COULD have been faster but blew it. It happens. No big deal. Hopefully it’s all being processed by VER and he is learning from these things.

    7. Have to agree. That Mercedes is yet again proving to be the car to beat. I’ve forgotten how many years in a row that is now.

  3. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    1st May 2021, 16:05

    Pretty competitive to be honest. P6 to P17 only 9 tenths of a second. Came down to personal mistakes to reach the top 10. The Haas team is terrible as is Latifi.

    1. @canadianjosh, yeah, Haas are the only ones more than 2s off the pace (MSC rather narrowly, compared to pole time he’s 2.104s off), and Stroll in 17th is only 0.254s off of his teammate (ie. about his Massa/Perez/Hullk) so it is really rather a close field

  4. This weekend feels very random with how unpredictable these tyres are, not a fan at all.

    1. @francorchamps17 Completely agree.

    2. But they are the same tyres since the season started, right?!

    3. @francorchamps17
      Today’s bizarre qualy had nothing to do with tyres, but with wind speed and direction. The wind picked up by more than 10 kph from the end of FP3 to Q3 and came out of the worst possible direction for the drivers: head wind on the straight, tail wind in most of the slow corners, including a tail/cross wind in T14 & 15.
      I wouldn’t read too much into today’s qualy times, as the conditions were extremely tricky and unpredictable.
      Just look at McLaren: Ricciardo out in Q1, Norris 0.7 slower in Q3 than he was in Q1.

  5. Sebastian is back! So good to his improvements :) :)

    1. @fish123 Too early.

    2. I agree with @jerejj, it is too early to tell. He might have just coped better with the very tricky wind conditions today.
      Nevertheless, it’s nice to see Seb doing well again.

  6. Well, the armchair experts (especially MB/HAM fans) were right…. another 1-2 for RBR! Best car no doubt, should be a walk in the park for Perez to get the WDC title.

    1. The armchair experts are right that RBR should have been on pole without another mistake by Max.

      This is simply a season where any mistake by either side os going to be punished.

    2. Yeah, let’s go with feelings instead of facts.

      Verstappen could and should have had pole comfortably. He blew it with his lack-lustre second run (traffic had nothing to do with it, he’d already lost pole by the end of the first two sectors).

      An alternative site’s deep analysis of FP1 & FP2 showed the Red Bull faster than the Mercs in both qualifying and race simulations.

  7. The Red Bulls were surprisingly slow as Ricciardo (Alonso and Stroll not as much), while Seb was surprisingly fast.

    1. ‘as was’

  8. LB (@burden93)
    1st May 2021, 16:10

    Enjoyable qualifying, Q3 was a bit weird though! Stand out performance George Russell, 11th in the Williams! I’m pleased Seb made Q3, he needed that!

  9. Once again a close fight ruined by the pathetic anti-racing tires.

    Tires, Tires, Tires….. So Tired of everything been dominated by tires all the time for the past 10 years. It was pathetic in 2011 & it’s only got even more pathetic as we have had to suffer through these awful tires over the past 10 years.

    It’s pathetic how the pinnacle of the sport is stuck with the worst tires in all of motorsport.

    1. Max threw it away ones again, let’s see what the race brings tomorrow

      1. That wasn’t a reply sorry

      2. Yeah, Mazepin too! Can’t believe how bad are his racing skills with that Mercedes…

    2. How was the fight ruined by tyres? Genuinely curious.

    3. @roger-ayles
      Nothing to do with the tyres, today was all about wind speed and unpleasant wind direction. That’s why the times in S3 got progressively worse since Q2 (affecting all cars).

    4. Track conditions deteriorated between Q2 and Q3, hence 9/10 drivers being slower in Q3 and mostly on faster tyres.

  10. I bet Bottas will add to his tally of most races not won from pole position tomorrow. Wonder who holds the record.

    1. Good come back from Bottas. Not to be skimpy on the deserved praises he did well to deny his Hamilton his 100th.

    2. LB (@burden93)
      1st May 2021, 16:27

      That record is Hamilton’s by a mile – with 58 races not converted from 99 pole positions. Only Senna and Schumacher have more than 58 poles!

      I know that wasn’t your point! But yeah let’s see if he can hold on to this one tomorrow

  11. Bring harder tyres…drivers complain
    Bring softer tyres…. drivers complain

  12. Sebastian Vettel, take a bow! Finally!!

  13. Good for Valtteri! I still expect Lewis to win, but we’ll see. Further down, really good showing from Sainz and Ocon. Danny Ric and Alonso seem to be struggling.

  14. Merc drivers and Max not having their best lap.
    Merc had 1:17 in earlier sessions

  15. playstation361
    1st May 2021, 16:51

    Nice to see Vettel upside.

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