Portuguese GP: Hamilton takes 97th career pole position in qualifying

Lewis Hamilton took pole position at the last possible moment in a delayed qualifying session for the Portuguese Grand Prix.

He beat his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who was fastest all weekend, in all practice sessions and was the man to beat in every qualifying session with Hamilton just piping him in the final sector for his 97th pole.

Hamilton and Bottas set their final laps on the medium tyres which proved to be the right decision with the softs proving unreliable for the W11 car.

The session was delayed by half an hour after a drain cover that was pulled up in FP3 required the marshalls to check the entire track to make sure the track was safe enough but after the half hour delay qualifying was able to get underway.

Max Verstappen put up a fight to qualify in third two and a half tenths off Hamilton’s fastest time briefly flashing up on the front row before Hamilton set his best time proving the latest upgrades to the Red Bull have been paying off.

He is joined on the second row by Charles Leclerc once again putting in a strong qualifying performance in his Ferrari SF1000.

Sergio Perez was just behind in fifth with Alex Albon in sixth after struggling with a snappy car all weekend.

Both McLarens were seventh and eighth with Carlos Sainz ahead of Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly will start ninth.

Daniel Ricciardo spun at the end of Q2 and tapped the wall at turn 10 with his rear wing which Renault opted to change halfway through Q3. He was unable to set a time and will start 10th

Esteban Ocon finished a tenth off of a Q3 appearance only a hundredth ahead of Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat.

George Russell put in a mega performance to qualify in 14th ahead of Sebastian Vettel in 15th. Vettel was trying to get through to Q3 on medium tyres to start the race on them but in the end did not progress saying the tyres were not ready for the lap.

Kimi Raikkonen has shown decent pace all weekend and has consistently been fastest of the usual bottom group but was knocked out of qualifying by Russell at the death. He starts 16th ahead of his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.

The Haas drivers line up alongside one another with Romain Grosjean ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the weekend where their departures from the team have been announced.

Nicholas Latifi sat himself for 20th and last position.

The top eight were all within a second which is rare for F1 in 2020 with Mercedes normally waltzing ahead. Portimao has proved a weird track for F1 so far and could be a very challenging race strategically for F1.