Out of nowhere, Lewis Hamilton delivered his best lap of the weekend to topple Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas and take a sensational pole position for the returning Portuguese Grand Prix…
The reigning world champion was second-best to Bottas through all three practice sessions and the first two segments of qualifying, and was slower after the first runs in Q3 at Portimao.
Mercedes changed strategy for the final runs, swapping over to the medium tyres on both cars. However, Hamilton opted to head out early to squeeze in two flying laps on that compound, while Bottas went for one.
The Finn beat Hamilton with his lap, but the Briton had one more lap in his pocket, and he made it count to take his 97th career pole position, relegating Bottas to second spot, in an all-Mercedes front row.
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Red Bull Racing
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Max Verstappen took up his now customary position of third on the soft tyres, impressively only one-and-a-half tenths adrift of the Silver Arrows, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc delivered one of his best laps of the year to go fourth.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was an impressive fifth, one place ahead of Alex Albon, half a second slower than Red Bull team mate Verstappen, while Carlos Sainz won the battle of the McLarens but only just with 0.005s separating him from Lando Norris.
Pierre Gasly ended up a strong ninth, getting the better of his AlphaTauri teammate once more,…