F1: Lewis Hamilton grabs pole position in Portugal

Tanya Simon
October 25, 2020

'And the surface is unusual - very closed, very smooth, and it doesn't work the tyres the same as Barcelona, for example, so that's made it incredibly challenging to get not only the front tyres dialled in, but getting the rears in.

"Obviously, with one timed lap you can have less fuel in the auto, but you might struggle with the tyre warm-up. So I've just been digging and digging and digging and trying to find that extra time". "So I was like, 'okay this could provide me an opportunity and it worked.' That last lap got better and better as I went through".

"I can't tell you how hard that was today".

"It was better but for me not very enjoyable to drive at the moment with the tyres and grip on the track", he sighed. "It's a bit of a shame".

Lewis Hamilton appeared to be at loggerheads with Formula One's ruling body again on Thursday when he criticised the selection of Vitaly Petrov as a race steward for this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix.

"Overall still good of course to be third", he acknowledged.

"This is the closest we've been".

"Just hard to really judge again the performance because of the tyres and the grip", he said.

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"I think half of the audience did not understand at all what this shirt was about until it was explained", added Petrov.

"These kind of events are sometimes hit and miss".

"And let's say a driver admits to being gay - will they come out with a rainbow flag and urge everyone to become gay as well? I think ultimately I should have gone for two timed laps as well".

Verstappen will be the leading driver on the grid on the soft compound tyres, after both Mercedes drivers as well as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc elected to get into Q3 on the medium.

In the end, he finished the session with the sixth fastest time, but unable to trouble Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and Alex Albon (Red Bull Racing) in fourth and fifth.

A disappointed Bottas, whose efforts produced Mercedes' ninth front row lockout of the year, said: "I will do all I can, but I would prefer to be on the clean side of the track".

"The weather is mixed for tomorrow and the rain is meant to be coming, so anything can happen".

"We should definitely be including people here who are with the times, who are understanding of the time we are living in and sensitive to the matters that are surrounding us", said Hamilton.

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