Lewis Hamilton will start the Portuguese Grand Prix on pole position after a clever change of tactic enabled him to out-manoeuvre team-mate Valtteri Bottas – who was the quickest all weekend.
Bottas set the fastest times in FP1, FP2, FP3, Q1 and Q2 but when it mattered the most in Q3, Hamilton came out on top.
The Brit is looking to surpass Michael Schumacher’s race wins record when the lights go out tomorrow.
And he will attempt to do so from the front of the pack because he decided to do three out-laps in the final qualification session.
Bottas wanted to save his tyres for the race so chose to only do one real burn-out.
The Finn’s gamble was almost justified as his time was not beaten by Hamilton or any other driver for the majority of the session.
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Hamilton knew he had his work cut out heading into Q3 and he feels Bottas will bring the same intensity during the race.
“I can’t tell you how hard that was today,” the six-time world champion said.
“Yes, we’ve got a great car but you have to drive the nuts off of it to pull out a lap.
“Valtteri’s been so quick this weekend, he’s topped every session. So I’ve just been digging and digging and digging to find that extra time.”