Qualifying has delayed start due to damaged and loose drainage on trackside.
Hamilton takes his 97th pole.
Bottas had been top all weekend
Verstappen takes third.
Sebastian Vettel fails to make Q3 yet again.
You have to feel for Bottas, but, when you’re up against a driver that is smashing records thought unbreakable, you have to say being so close to him is nothing but admirable.
Wow, heartbreak for Bottas, fastest man all weekend, and Hamilton has stolen a pole that has had the Finn’s name written all over it.
Bottas takes pole for now but Hamilton is still on a fast lap
Hamilton holding onto pole at the death, can Bottas steal it back?
Verstappen is threatenting the front pair as he ends up only 0:121 off of the top.
The times are a fair bit slower than last session so far, Bottas is on pole for now, but Hamilton is just 0:047 behind.
Half a second Bottas has lost even on the softs this time.
Here we go, the final battle for pole position is underway.
Bottas has almost half a second advantage over Hamilton going into this session, if he fails to grab pole today you have to feel it’s lights out for any chance of a title fight for the Finn.
Out in Q2:
|12||Lance Stroll||18||Racing Point||1:17.667||1:17.626|
Well, Vettel couldn’t do it, ends up plum-last in the session.
Still, positives, he got out of Q1 at least.
Danial Ricciardo gets away with a spin and a nudge into the barriers. It doesn’t look like he took any damage, and snuck into Q3 just a tenth ahead of his 11th placed teammate Ocon.
Final runs coming up, drivers at risk are:
Mercedes comfortable on the mediums with Verstappen out on the softs over 6 tenths off the pace set by the Finn at the front.
Can Vettel make it into Q3 for the first time in 6 races?
In the meantime, he’s just getting in the way of Hamilton as the Champion has to back out of his flying lap.
Russell does it yet again!
Right at the last the impressive Williams young gun has snuck out of Q1 by nearly 2 tenths, deposing the old hand of Raikonnen in the process.
Vettel has found a turn of pace ending up comfortably through for what feels the first time in months, ending the session 8th.
OUT IN Q1:
|16||Kimi Raikkonen||7||Alfa Romeo||1:18.201|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||99||Alfa Romeo||1:18.323|
With two minutes left, the guys in danger are as follows:
Hamilton reminds everyone that he’s not to be discounted even when he’s been behind all weekend so far as he edges ahead of Verstappen by 0:051
It’s first blood to Bottas as he slams in a 1:17:0 with Hamilton hitting traffic and ending up 6 seconds off the pace.
Second runs see’s Bottas improve marginally and Hamilton just under two tenths back, but Verstappen pops into provisional pole with a 1:16:8.
And we have a green light!
Was starting to worry it would be delayed further but the marshalls have done a stellar job in getting the session started.
Remember this moment the last time a drain was loose on track?
Drain cover wrecks George Russell’s Williams— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) April 26, 2019
Watch the moment Russell ran over a loose manhole cover, causing extensive damage to his car, with #AzerbaijanGP Practice One then being abandonedhttps://t.co/G5p8CLfXX3 pic.twitter.com/XZbmA4xYTf
Not much going on right now. Watching drains set is a bit like watching paint dry.
On to other musings, Valtteri Bottas is now at the point where even if he wins evey race left, if Hamilton finishes right behind him, he wont wrest the title from the six time champ.
Can he start to get into his head this weekend, as that seems all he has left in the armoury, and that’s only if he even has that side to him.
Welcome back to another live coverage of the F1 season, this time in Portugal’s Portimao.
The drivers have had a bit of a stop-start weekend so far at a track this sport hasn’t raced at before.
FIA and marshalls frantically working on the metal drains punctuating the track as at least two of them have came loose.