Portuguese GP: Bottas completes practice sweep at Portimao

Valtteri Bottas completed a clean sweep of Formula 1 practice sessions for the Portuguese Grand Prix after edging out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for top spot in FP3.

Portuguese GP: Bottas completes practice sweep at Portimao

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.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 27 1'16.654  
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 23 1'16.680 0.026
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 21 1'16.812 0.158
4 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 24 1'16.930 0.276
5 Thailand Alex Albon Red Bull 25 1'17.117 0.463
6 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 20 1'17.229 0.575
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 24 1'17.238 0.584
8 Mexico Sergio Perez Racing Point 17 1'17.297 0.643
9 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 22 1'17.478 0.824
10 France Esteban Ocon Renault 20 1'17.666 1.012
11 Germany Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 24 1'17.685 1.031
12 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 29 1'17.720 1.066
13 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 20 1'17.922 1.268
14 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Renault 13 1'17.935 1.281
15 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 20 1'18.032 1.378
16 Canada Lance Stroll Racing Point 17 1'18.100 1.446
17 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 20 1'18.201 1.547
18 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 13 1'18.287 1.633
19 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 20 1'18.397 1.743
20 France Romain Grosjean Haas 19 1'18.454 1.800
shares
comments
Horner: Red Bull will take outside driver if Albon dropped

Previous article

Horner: Red Bull will take outside driver if Albon dropped

Next article

Ricciardo: Reliability will decide F1's fight for third

Ricciardo: Reliability will decide F1's fight for third
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Portuguese GP
Sub-event FP3
Author Luke Smith
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021