Eifel GP | Valtteri Bottas drives to pole

Valtteri Bottas seized pole position for the Eifel Grand Prix on Saturday with Mercedes teammate and Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton alongside on the front row of the grid at the Nurburgring.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who had been on provisional pole after the first flying laps of the final session at the German circuit, qualified in third place with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc fourth.

Bottas’ pole was his third of 2020 for Mercedes but this one looked in the balance right to the end.

Great last lap

“It’s such a nice feeling when you get it on the last lap, with the last chance,” said the Finn after celebrating his 14th career pole. “The last lap in Q3 (the final phase) was spot on.”

Bottas is 44 points behind six-time World champion Hamilton, who will still fancy his chances of a record-equalling 91st career win on Sunday at a track that last hosted an F1 race in 2013.

“Valtteri did a great job so congrats to him,” said the Briton. “There’s a lot to play for tomorrow so I need to get my head down.”

Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg will make an unexpected appearance on Sunday from last place on the grid after replacing an unwell Lance Stroll at Racing Point.

Starting grid:

Row 1: 1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); Row 2: Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari); Row 3: Alexander Albon (Red Bull), Daniel Ricciardo (Renault); Row 4: Esteban Ocon (Renault), Lando Norris (McLaren); Row 5: Sergio Perez (Racing Point), Carlos Sainz Jr. (McLaren); Row 6: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri); Row 7: Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri), Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo).

Row 8: Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Romain Grosjean (Haas); Row 9: George Russell (Williams), Nicholas Latifi (Williams); Row 10: Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point).

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