Valtteri Bottas seized pole position for the Eifel Grand Prix on Saturday with Mercedes team mate and Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton alongside on the front row of the grid at the Nuerburgring.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who had been on provisional pole after the first flying laps of the final session at the German circuit, qualified in third place with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc fourth.
Bottas’s pole was his third of 2020 and an 11th in 11 races this season for Mercedes but this one looked in the balance right to the end.
“It’s such a nice feeling when you get it on the last lap, with the last chance,” said the Finn after celebrating his 14th career pole.
“The last lap in Q3 (the final phase) was spot on.”
Bottas is 44 points behind six times world champion Hamilton, who will still fancy his chances of a record-equalling 91st career win on Sunday at a track that last hosted an F1 race in 2013.
“Valtteri did a great job so congrats to him,” said the Briton. “There’s a lot to play for tomorrow so I need to get my head down.”
Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg will make an unexpected appearance on Sunday from last place on the grid after replacing an unwell Lance Stroll at Racing Point.