The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Bottas beats Russell to Sakhir pole

Bottas beats Russell to Sakhir pole

FORMULA ONE: Valtteri Bottas has pipped George Russell and Max Verstappen in a three-way fight for pole at the Sakhir Grand Prix.

By Michael Lamonato

Sunday 6 December 2020, 09:03AM

This was the first time in his F1 career that George Russell had been beaten by a teammate on Saturday. Photo: AFP.

This was the first time in his F1 career that George Russell had been beaten by a teammate on Saturday. Photo: AFP.

Max Verstappen started the top-10 shootout as favourite with provisional pole, but the super-short circuit lent itself to three runs than the usual two, and Valtteri Bottas duly took back the initiative with his second lap.

But George Russell, standing in for Lewis Hamilton as the world champion recover from COVID-19, was the man making the biggest gains. The Williams driver has been improving session by session during his Mercedes loan and had just 0.142 seconds to close with his final tour to contend for pole.

Bottas started his lap poorly, handing Russell the momentum, but the Briton didn’t have quite enough to get the job done, falling short by just 0.026 seconds.

In what has been billed as a shootout for the Mercedes seat in 2022, Bottas was relieved to get the job done.

“Good to see George locking the front row,” Bottas said. “It’s good to be on pole, I’m happy for that, but not one of my best qualifyings. I’m happy it was enough.”

Russell showed no signs of frustration in his narrow defeat, the first time in his F1 career he’s been beaten by a teammate on Saturday, and was pleased with his performance after receiving the call-up only three days earlier.

“Its’ been incredibly intense, so much to learn,” he said, the 22 year old better used to fighting near the bottom of the grid. “It felt really alien to begin with. It’s just a different way of driving, to be honest.

“We got it pretty much all together at the final lap. Gutted to miss out on pole by 20 milliseconds, but if you told me last week I was qualifying second on the grid, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

Verstappen was forced to again admit he didn’t have the car to take pole down to the wire, but the Dutchman was optimistic a different starting tyre choice could make the difference in the race.

“It’s interesting how that’s going to play out for us,” he said. “We have nothing to lose, so it’s better to have some fun tomorrow and see what we can do.”

Charles Leclerc had enough tyres for only one lap in Q3 and delivered a sensational fourth on the grid in his underpowered Ferrari.

Sergio Perez, having lost a podium last weekend to an engine failure, will have a second chance at the rostrum from fifth on the grid for Racing Point alongside AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat in sixth.

Daniel Ricciardo qualified seventh for Renault ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz in the battle for third in the constructors standings between those two teams.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly qualified ninth ahead of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll.

Esteban Ocon will start 11th for Renault alongside Red Bull Racing’s Alex Albon in 12th.

Sebastian Vettel qualified an ineffectual 13th for Ferrari ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi.

Lando Norris had his final flying lap in qualifying compromised by traffic and will resultantly line up 15th beside Haas driver Kevin Magnussen in 16th.

Nicholas Latifi qualified 17th and will line up alongside new Williams teammate Jack Aitken in 18th, the Briton substituting the Mercedes-bound Russell.

Kimi Raikkonen qualified 19th for Alfa Romeo ahead of Haas debutant Pietro Fittipaldi. The 24-year-old grandson of two-time world champion Emerson is standing in for the injured Romain Grosjean after the Frenchman’s fireball smash at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Foot | 06 December 2020 - 15:26:42

Shows how it doesn't really matter who drives the Mercedes.  Would Bottas and Hamilton be anywhere near as successful if the drove the car of George Russell?


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
No demerit points for speeding in Phuket, for now

@Kurt: If everybody try to overtake you or some even give hornsignal to you than it is not because t...(Read More)

No demerit points for speeding in Phuket, for now

" When i drive 50,60 ,70.." Kurt,why should a bike with 135cc not overtake you when you d...(Read More)

No Phuket quarantine for Bangkok arrivals

Good old Kurt getting confused again. Those 915 people were not from Samut Prakan but from Samut Sa...(Read More)

Patong Mayor Chalermluck will run for re-election

She'll have to win to defeat the mafia- they're the competition, 555. ...(Read More)

Tourism department seeks B3bn from film productions

49+13 +89+136 =287 foreign crew quarantine. Sure the Thai Government paid that. Well, lately 're...(Read More)

Patong Mayor Chalermluck will run for re-election

First the flood problem, How? Next garbage, why was that not done the last 6 years? And as cherry on...(Read More)

No Phuket quarantine for Bangkok arrivals

Yes/No quarantine on Phuket ( it almost daily changes), people from Samut Prakan should totally not ...(Read More)

No Phuket quarantine for Bangkok arrivals

Las in BP, Samut Prakan yesterday only discovered 915 Covid -19 infected persons! And now people fro...(Read More)

No demerit points for speeding in Phuket, for now

When I drive 50, 60, 70, 80kmh, 135cc motorbikes, not designed for very high speed, are passing by m...(Read More)

Phuket Vice Governor confirms no mandatory quarantine for Bangkok arrivals

Anybody want to predict when the first new case will be in Phuket then? I give it a week. 'Hones...(Read More)