The Finnish driver became the third different polesitter in the opening three races of the 2021 F1 season, beating Hamilton in Q3 by just 0.007 seconds, to record his 17th career F1 pole.
Max Verstappen was left frustrated at only qualifying in third place for Red Bull – almost four-tenths off pole position – and felt he was held up by Sebastian Vettel in the final part of qualifying at Portimao.
The Dutch driver’s time was still enough to edge out Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who recovered from a spin into the gravel in Q1, and kept ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr who lines up in fifth place for the Portuguese GP.
Esteban Ocon impressed for Alpine with sixth place in Q3 of qualifying, beating McLaren’s Lando Norris, with the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in eighth place despite progressing through Q2 using the medium tyres.
Pierre Gasly kept up his solid qualifying form for AlphaTauri in ninth place as Vettel completed the top 10 having made his first Q3 appearance since the 2020 British GP.
It was a nightmare qualifying for McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was knocked out in Q1 and will start the Portuguese GP in 16th place.
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
When is the F1 Portuguese Grand Prix?
- Date: Sunday 2nd May 2021
- Start time: 3:00pm BST, 3:00pm local time
The third round of the 2021 F1 season, the Portuguese GP at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, gets underway at 3pm local time (3pm BST) on Sunday 2nd May.
How can I watch the Portuguese GP?
In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports has exclusive live broadcasting rights of F1, with the Portuguese GP race shown live on Sky Sports F1. Pre-race coverage will be starting at 1:30pm BST ahead of the race start at 3:00pm BST.
After the race Sky Sports F1’s live coverage continues to follow the post-race reaction from when the chequered flag is waved until 6:30pm BST.
Autosport is running a live text commentary for the Portuguese GP.
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
When can I watch the highlights?
In the United Kingdom Channel 4 is broadcasting highlights of the Portuguese GP at 7:30pm BST on Sunday. The full programme will run for two-and-a-half hours, covering the pre-race, the race highlights and the initial post-race reaction to wrap up the major talking points of the race weekend.
For the entire 2021 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying and race on the Saturday and Sunday of each event. The highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on demand catch up services.
- Channel: Channel 4
- Start time: 7:30pm BST
Will it be on the radio?
Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2021 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra stations.
Coverage of the Portuguese GP will start at 2:55pm BST on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, available on both DAB radio and the BBC Sounds app.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Why is F1 racing in Portugal?
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to disrupt the regular motorsport calendar, the start of the 2021 F1 season has been reshaped after the Australian GP was postponed to November and the Chinese GP was called off for this year.
As a result, and just like last season, the Portimao track has stepped in as a late replacement to fill the gap in the calendar and will host the Portuguese GP.
At the time of writing, the 2021 F1 calendar reverts to a largely familiar schedule in May with the Spanish GP and Monaco GP, but another calendar tweak has been confirmed for June, with the series heading to Turkey after the cancellation of the Canadian GP.
Weather forecast for the Portuguese GP
Current weather forecasts predict sunny and warm conditions, with a low possibility of rain at Portimao on race day. The temperature is expected to be 18 degrees Celsius for the start of the race – about five degrees warmer than the Emilia Romagna GP.
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
How many laps is the Portuguese GP?
The race is scheduled to complete 66 laps of the Imola circuit, covering a total race distance of 306.826km.