Bottas Pips Hamilton, Hulkenberg Returns : F1 Eifel Grand Prix Qualifying Report

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Valtteri Bottas grabs pole position at the Eifel Grand Prix following a stupendous lap on his final run in Q3. Lewis Hamilton is slated to line up alongside the Finn to lock out the front row.

Max Verstappen, who looked strong throughout the session, could only manage a P3 while Charles Leclerc set an amazing lap time to position himself into P4.

Alex Albon will line up in P5 while both the Renaults will start the race from P6 and P7. Racing Point’s Sergio Perez split the two McLarens by lining up in P9 for tomorrow’s race.

Q1

The moment Q1 started, Nico Hulkenberg rushed out onto the track and did his first flying lap. But as the other drivers started to set their times, he got pushed to the last on the grid. A valiant effort considering the amount of race rust he may have been suffering from due to months of inactivity.

Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, and Max Verstappen cemented their positions in the Top-3 and chose against a second run.

Haas' Romain Grosjean in action during qualifying at Eifel Grand Prix 2020
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – October 10, 2020 Haas’ Romain Grosjean in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Antonio Giovinazzi scraped past Q1 for the first time this season; however, his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, was not so lucky and could only manage a P19.

Romain Grosjean posted an incredible lap time but was deleted after he exceeded the track limits; the Frenchman will be slotted at P16 on the grid before the lights go out tomorrow. In other news, both the Williams will line-up in 17th and 18th on the grid.

All eyes were on Nico Hulkenberg as the German stepped up to replace Lance Stroll, who was suddenly taken ill. However, it wasn’t a dream outing for the German as he struggled throughout the session due to a lack of grip; he could only manage a P20 for Racing Point.

Q2

Red Bull's Max Verstappen in action during qualifying at Eifel Grand Prix 2020
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – October 10, 2020, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during qualifying. Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

In Q2, Max went straight into the 1 min 25 sec as both the Mercedes failed to match the Red Bull’s lap time on their first runs. As the track started evolving, Lewis managed a 1:25:390 as he jumped into P1.

Charles Leclerc delivered a blistering lap that saw him move up to P5 and make his way into the final Qualifying session. With that lap, he ended up bumping Sebastian Vettel out of Q2, leaving him a spot shy of the Top-10. Both the AlphaTauris slotted in behind Vettel in P12 and P13, respectively.

Yet another decent lap from Giovinazzi saw him leapfrog Kevin Magnussen, earning him a P14 on the grid.

Q3

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas celebrates after qualifying pole position with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at Eifel Grand Prix 2020
Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – October 10, 2020 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas celebrates after qualifying pole position with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who qualified second Pool via REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

During Q3, the first run witnessed Max slot a 1:25:744 as he bested both the Mercedes yet again; however, a mistake in the last sector cost Max the pole position. Astonishingly, it was only 0.081 seconds that split the Top-3.

However, an improved lap in the second run bolstered Bottas’ claim to P1, forcing his teammate to settle for P2. Leclerc improved his time well enough to move up to P4 and prevented Albon from clinching a 2nd row start for tomorrow’s race.

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