Lewis Hamilton claimed his 97th Formula 1 pole beating Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix. Here’s how and when you can watch the race.
Despite seeing Bottas take a clean sweep of top spot in practice and leading in both Q1 and Q2 of qualifying, Hamilton produced a last-gasp lap to take pole position from the Finn.
Both Mercedes drivers switched from the soft to the medium tyres for the final Q3 runs, with Hamilton taking advantage of the “counter-intuitive” strategy for his ninth pole of the season.
Meanwhile Bottas was left to regret his own one-lap medium tyre run call at the end of qualifying as it denied him the chance to respond to Hamilton’s last lap pole grab.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen slotted into his familiar ‘best of the rest’ spot with third in qualifying but was left confused by a drop in grip during qualifying at Portimao, resulting in him going slower in Q3 than in Q1.
Behind him Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc continued to impress with fourth place to beat fellow midfield fighter Sergio Perez for Racing Point, with Red Bull’s Alexander Albon taking sixth place.
McLaren duo Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris locked out the fourth row in seventh and eighth respectively, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in ninth as Daniel Ricciardo failed to set a lap time in Q3 after suffering damage to his Renault in a late off in the second qualifying session.
Why is F1 racing at Portimao?
Due to the redrafted 2020 F1 calendar following the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent cancellation of 13 races, series bosses have scrambled to produce a campaign of a minimum of eight races to meet FIA world championship criteria along with reaching a minimum of 15 races to fulfil the TV broadcasting deal.
As well as hosting double-headers at the Red Bull Ring, Silverstone and Bahrain, F1 will also head to venues not on the original 2020 calendar, with the Algarve circuit located close to Portimao is the third of the new destinations, following on from Mugello and the Nurburgring. Later this year the paddock completes its one-off stint of unexpected races at Imola and Istanbul Park.
When was the last time F1 raced at the Portimao?
F1 has never raced at Portimao but has previously tested at the Portuguese circuit, most recently in January 2009 as part of the pre-season testing programme.
Portimao has remained a popular venue for other series and as a testing venue, most notably for the World Superbike Championship at numerous GT series, while MotoGP is also making its first race visit to the Algarve circuit next month.
While Portimao has never hosted a F1 grand prix before this weekend, the Portuguese GP has previously been a familiar presence on the F1 calendar when Estoril held a slot between 1984-96. Before that era, three F1 world championship grands prix were also run between 1958-60, split between Boavista and Monsanto.
Will fans be allowed at the Portuguese GP?
Race organisers have been granted permission to open the circuit to spectators with numbers capped at 27,500 per day as approved by the local government.
Initially officials had targeted crowds of close to 50,000 on each day of the race weekend before a fresh move of COVID-19 restrictions were announced last week.
When is the F1 Portuguese Grand Prix?
Date: Sunday 25th October 2020
Start time: 1:10pm local time, 1:10pm GMT
How can I watch the Portuguese GP?
In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports has exclusive live broadcasting rights (excluding the British GP), with the Portuguese GP race shown live on Sky Sports F1. Pre-race coverage will be starting at 11:30am GMT ahead of the race start at 1:10pm GMT.
Channel 4 will be showing extended highlights of the race on Sunday evening, starting at 6:30pm GMT.
Autosport is running a live text commentary for the Portuguese GP.
Weather forecast for the Portuguese GP
Current weather forecasts predict cloudy weather at Portimao on race day, with a small chance of rain. The temperature is expected to be 20 degrees Celsius for the start of the race – the same temperature as qualifying.
How many laps is the Portuguese GP?
The race is scheduled to complete 66 laps of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve circuit, covering a total race distance of 306.826km.
Portuguese GP starting grid
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||0.252s|
|5||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||0.571s|
|6||Alexander Albon||Red Bull/Honda||0.785s|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||0.868s|
|12||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||0.974s|
|16||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1.549s|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1.671s|