Bottas completes sweep of Portuguese GP practice


Formula One F1 - Portuguese Grand Prix - Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal - October 24, 2020 Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in action during practice Pool via REUTERS/Jorge Guerrero

(Reuters) - Valtteri Bottas completed a sweep of Portuguese Grand Prix practice on Saturday with Mercedes team mate and Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton second fastest.

The Finn, quickest in both Friday's sessions at the Algarve circuit near the southern city of Portimao, lapped with a best effort of one minute 16.654 seconds.

Hamilton, the six-time world champion who can take an outright record 92nd career win on Sunday after equalling Michael Schumacher's milestone, was 0.026 slower on a sunny but cool morning.

Both drivers made errors, with Hamilton tracking through the gravel at one point.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third fastest, 0.158 off the pace, with AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly -- whose car caught fire on Friday -- fourth on the timesheets.

The session was ended a minute early after a drain cover came loose at the exit of turn 14 as Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari went over it.

Mercedes have qualified on pole for every race so far this season and look set to extend that run to 12 in a row later on Saturday.

The team can also clinch a record seventh successive constructors' title on Sunday if results go their way, although Red Bull's form is likely to keep them waiting at least another week.

Hamilton is 69 points clear of Bottas after 11 races.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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