11 Oct 2020

BOTTAS TAKES POLE AHEAD OF EIFEL GRAND PRIX

Qualifying for the Eifel Grand prix passed off with little surprises yesterday aside from Lewis Hamilton being pipped for pole by his Silver Arrows teammate Valtteri Bottas. Max Verstappen continued to prove he is the best of the rest with P3. Charles Leclerc’s P4 was probably the stand out performance of the day, the Ferrari 0.8secs from pole after the introduction of a series of aerodynamic upgrades.

Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was P11, failing to make it out of the second knockout session, in which he was 0.5secs slower than Leclerc.

Red Bull’s Alexander Albon took P5, ahead of the Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, with the McLaren of Lando Norris, Racing Points Sergio Perez, and Carlos Sainz in the other McLaren making up the top 10.

Perez’s team-mate Lance Stroll withdrew from the weekend with illness and was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg, the German who stood in for Perez when the Mexican contracted coronavirus for the two Silverstone races.

Hulkenberg, who took the call to jump in the car while on his way to the circuit to work for German TV, was thrown in at the deep end in qualifying and finished last.

Bottas took pole by 0.256 secs with his final lap after Verstappen set the pace on the first runs in final qualifying. It was the closest Mercedes have come to being beaten in qualifying this year. Bottas’ pole also brought to an end a run of five consecutive pole positions for  Lewis Hamilton who this weekend could equal Michael Schumacher’s record of race wins at the German circuit.

Bottas’ pole is his 3rd this season as he fights to remain in the hunt for the drivers world championship, 44 points behind team-mate Hamilton.

Verstappen was quickest on the first runs in final qualifying by 0.068secs, with Hamilton a further 0.013secs adrift.

Hamilton went fastest with his final lap but Bottas leapfrogged him to take pole, two weeks after he won the Russian Grand Prix.

“It’s such a nice feeling when you get it on the last lap and that was pretty much spot on,” Bottas said.

Hamilton said: “He did a great job, so congrats to him. There’s a lot to play for tomorrow.”

Verstappen said: “In Q3 when it really mattered I started understeering too much which cost me a bit of lap time. We are getting closer towards Mercedes, which is positive. A little bit disappointed, I was expecting a little more but I can still be happy.”

JDC is looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Formula 1 in 2021 for what is expected to be a very exciting and closely run season. If you’d like to experience any of the races on the 2021 calendar, then take a look at our Paddock Club™ hospitality packages or contact JDC Promotions and let us build a bespoke package for you and your guests.

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ianhucklesby

Editor-in-Residence, JDC Promotions Media Centre