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F1 Portuguese Grand Prix LIVE: Qualifying build-up, Hamilton going for pole, P3 now UNDERWAY – latest updates

LAP IT UP

THE F1 season continues with a high-octane race in store in Portugal.

Lewis Hamilton has control of the Driver's Championship after victory in Germany last weekend, but teammate Valtteri Bottas will be out for revenge - and today it's all about qualifying.

Follow all the latest from Portugal with our blog below...

  • LECLERC SPINS

  • JUST OVER 30 MINUTES TO GP

    And it is Hamilton, Gasly, Verstappen, Leclerc, Sainz, Bottas as the top six.

    So, still very much advantage Mercedes.

  • TIME RUNNING OUT FOR ALEX ALBON?

    Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, has had some choice words for the under-pressure racer.

    Albon needs to start getting some decent results on board, as he has been eclipsed by his teammate, Max Verstappen.

    Horner said: “We want Alex to claim that seat and justify that there is no need to look at any other alternative than Alex. Everyone in the team wants to see him do that.

    “In Mugello it started to look like he had started to turn the corner. He’s had a couple of difficult weekends so he needs to bounce back here and particularly Imola with a strong weekend from start to finish.

    “He’s a popular member of the team but we need two cars closer together in order to fight the Mercedes. That’s what we’ve got to do.

    “If we had to look at a different solution, we would have to look outside the Red Bull pool of drivers simply because there is not one available we would look to put in.

    “There are some quality drivers on the market that could be unemployed next year.”

  • FP3 IS GO

    But little running to report so far, which is a little surprising as this is a new track.

  • LEW ARE YA?

    Lewis Hamilton was only eighth-fastest in practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix.

    The Brit admitted there was work to do despite enthusing about the 'massively challenging' Portimao track.

    Team-mate Valtteri Bottas was fastest.

  • QUALI-TY

    Today is the day for Qualifying at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

    The drivers have loved the Portimao ciruit so far, what will today throw up?

  • STAP TALKING

    Max Verstappen let rip on Lance Stroll in FP2 during the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend and said it's not his 'problem' if people are offended.

    The pair crashed during second practice and Verstappen did not hold back.

    He said: “Is this f***ing guy blind? What the f*** is wrong with hm? Jesus Christ. What a r*****. I have damage. What a mongol. I swear.”

    He added: “He f*** his lap, I’m trying to prepare my lap, and he just f**** my lap by just opening DRS and staying on the normal line.

    “No respect. But yeah, doesn’t matter.”

    Fans may not have enjoyed his foul-mouthed tirade, but the 23-year-old wasn't fussed.

    He told Autosport: “Not my problem.”

  • GOOD MORNING, F1 FANS

    Valtteri Bottas topped both practice sessions as the Finn put down an early marker for the Portuguese GP.

    Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton in FP1, but the afternoon session was wrecked by two red flags.

    The first stoppage came when Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri dramatically caught fire.

    Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll then had a ridiculous crash at Turn One forcing another break in practice.

    Meanwhile, Hamilton admits he is finding the Portimao circuit extremely tricky.

    The Mercedes ace told Sky Sports: “It’s an incredibly difficult circuit. Massively challenging.

    “The undulations are incredible. There’s a lot of places you just can’t see where you’re going. 

    “The exit of turn eight, you’re looking at the sky for a period of time and you have no idea what’s beyond the hill. 

    “Also into 11, you’re coming in and you don’t know where you are, all of a sudden it arrives at you out of nowhere.

    “So it’s very challenging. The surface is very smooth. You see a lot of people making mistakes and sliding and spinning so it’s not been an easy day.”

    Hamilton has also rubbished suggestions he lived “a playboy” lifestyle – but says he now enjoys staying in.

    He added: “People have, over the years, assumed many things in terms of how my lifestyle is.

    “I know I'm given this playboy kind of image, which is not really me.

    “If you were to go home and see me with my family, you'd know my core values.”

  • DRIFTER

    This will get you in the mood for tomorrow's qualifying in Portugal!

  • PORT THWART

    Lewis Hamilton admits he is finding the Portimao circuit extremely tricky.

    The Mercedes ace told Sky Sports: “It’s an incredibly difficult circuit. Massively challenging.

    “The undulations are incredible. There’s a lot of places you just can’t see where you’re going.

    “The exit of turn eight, you’re looking at the sky for a period of time and you have no idea what’s beyond the hill.

    “Also into 11, you’re coming in and you don’t know where you are, all of a sudden it arrives at you out of nowhere.

    “So it’s very challenging. The surface is very smooth. You see a lot of people making mistakes and sliding and spinning so it’s not been an easy day.”

  • ON FORM

    Here's some great footage of Stroll and Verstappen's clash today.

    Thrilling stuff – especially at those speeds!

  • HAM SOLO

    Lewis Hamilton has rubbished suggestions he lived “a playboy” lifestyle – but says he now enjoys staying in.

    He said: “People have, over the years, assumed many things in terms of how my lifestyle is.

    “I know I'm given this playboy kind of image, which is not really me.

    “If you were to go home and see me with my family, you'd know my core values.”

  • FROM SUNSPORT’S BEN HUNT

    Valtteri Bottas topped both practice sessions as the Finn put down an early marker for the Portuguese GP.

    Bottas beat Lewis Hamilton in FP1.

    But the afternoon session was wrecked by two red flags.

    The first stoppage came when Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri dramatically caught fire while Max Verstappen.

    Lance Stroll then had a ridiculous crash at Turn One forcing another break in practice.

  • FP2 IS DONE

    Bottas tops the session. The Finn gets his weekend off to a great start after leading both sessions.

    Lewis Hamilton was second-quickest in FP1 one was only eighth in FP2 in a session wrecked by two safety cars.

    Verstappen, who caused one of the red flags after clashing with Lance Stoll, was P2 and Lando Norris in P3.

  • FIVE MINUTES TO GO

    And it is Bottas, Verstappen, Leclerc, Vettel, Gasly, Hamilton, Russell, Albon, Norris and Perez in P10.

    But this session has been hampered by the Pirelli test and two red flags.

  • TRACK IS OPEN

    The pitlane light goes green and we have a little over seven minutes remaining.

  • STILL, THE RED FLAG IS OUT

    But the session time is ticking down. When FP2 does get under way, it will be another frantic one.

  • CRASH STROLL AND VERSTAPPEN COLLIDE – RED FLAG

    That is a BIG mistake from Stroll, who clatters in to the Red Bull man. Crazy stuff.

    The Canadian could be in for a penalty here.

  • BUSY TRACK

    Less than 30 minutes to go and it is a busy track as drivers look to complete their programmes.

    Bottas currently quickest from Verstappen.

  • WE ARE GO AGAIN

    After Gasly's car is cleared, the track is open and the session is back on.

    Mercedes's Hamilton and Bottas are first out on track.

  • GASLY'S CAR IS ON FIRE – RED FLAG

    Session has been stopped…

    The Frencham pulled over quickly and his AlphaTauri caught fire. The blaze quickly erupted.

    There was a delay before marshals go there to extinguish the blaze.

  • HAMILTON NOT HAPPY ON THESE TYRES

    He has complained about too much vibration. He comes in to pit. He's had enough of them.

    Mercedes will now feed all the info back to Pirelli and their engineers working on next year's car.

  • SO FAR SO GOOD

    A spin for Carlos Sainz, but no other dramas yet on these unknown tyres. It is all pretty nerdy but it is important for both Pirelli and the teams to get some understanding of next year's tyres.

  • FP2 IS GO

    And this will be a strange one as for the first part of this session, the teams will be using prototype Pirelli tyres for next season.

    So plenty of running, but the teams won't actually know what compounds they are running.

  • CUTTING CORNERS

    Watch how Max Verstappen span out during P1 while taking on the elevation at turn four.

    The 23-year-old recovered to finish the session third fastest.

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