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Portuguese Grand Prix  Qualifying: Charles on second row, Seb 15th

Portimão 24 October 2020

When the 17th Portuguese Grand Prix gets underway at 13.10 local (14.10 CET) tomorrow at the Autòdromo Internacional do Algarve, Charles Leclerc will start from the second row of the grid. In what proved to be a very close qualifying, he even came close to being third fastest but in the end he was fourth. Sebastian Vettel had a more difficult afternoon and was 15th fastest. 

Q2.  Having made it through to Q2, the two SF1000s took to to the track on Medium tyres, with the aim of using that compound for the race start: Charles immediately posted an excellent 1’17”367, while Seb could only manage a 1’18”116. Both drivers came in for another set of Mediums. However, it was clear that track conditions were very changeable, especially because of the wind, with very few drivers managing to improve their times. Seb did go quicker, posting a 1’17”976 but it wasn’t enough to get to Q3 and he had to settle for 15th. Leclerc got through in eighth place, on the Mediums as planned.

Q3.  In the final 12 minutes, Charles did two runs on the Soft tyres. His first was a 1’17”456. In the closing stages, when Alex Albon (Red Bull) and Sergio Perez (Racing Point) went quicker, he went out again to improve to an excellent 1’17”090, good enough for fourth on the grid, less than two tenths slower than Max Verstappen, third in the Red Bull and just over four tenths off Lewis Hamilton’s pole time in the Mercedes.