Valtteri Bottas take pole position for Portuguese Grand Prix

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(Reuters) – Valtteri Bottas took pole position for the Portuguese Grand Prix on Saturday and denied Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton a record-extending 100th by a mere 0.007 of a second.

Seven-times world champion Hamilton made sure of the Mercedes front row sweep at the Algarve circuit by qualifying second.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, a point behind championship leader Hamilton after two races, will start third on the soft tyres after having his first flying lap of one minute 18.209 deleted for running too wide.

Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes AMG gives the thumb up after clocking the fastest time in the qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Portugal at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve near Portimao, Portugal, 01 May 2021. Hamilton finished second in the qualifying. EPA-EFE/Gabriel Bouys / POOL

But for that mistake on a gusty afternoon at a rollercoaster of a circuit, the Dutch youngster’s time would have been the fastest. Bottas took pole in 1:18.348.

It was the 17th pole position of Bottas’s career, lifting him level with Britain’s triple champion Jackie Stewart in the all-time list, and first since Bahrain’s Sakhir Grand Prix last December.

The Finn will also be the third different driver to start on pole in three races and nobody has so far won from the top slot in 2021.

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