Valtteri Bottas claimed his first F1 career pole position at the Bahrain International Circuit after a close qualifying session with some great competition between the Mercedes drivers. The Finn beat his teammate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.023s on his second run in Q3.
It took Bottas five seasons in Formula One to achieve this performance and he is now closer that ever to reach his first victory in the sport. The Bahrain Grand Prix might give his the best opportunity as the gap to Ferrari is now a little larger than in the first two races.
"I’m really happy with my first Formula One pole. It’s my fifth season in the sport now, so it took a few races. But we got it and hopefully it is the first of many. It feels good", Bottas explained his excitement.
"I didn’t realise it’d been nearly 10 years since a Finn was last on pole. I’m very proud as always to drive for Finland and represent my country. It’s not an easy track to get everything right. It’s quite a technical and there are a few tricky corners. But I’ve been getting more and more comfortable with the car and managed to get the lap together. Thankfully it was good enough for pole.
"I just want to say a big thanks to the team for giving me this car. It’s great that we’re both starting from the front row. We’ve done a really good job this weekend to focus on the evening conditions and really maximise the lap time in the car. We’ll enjoy this for a short period of time – but the main focus is the race tomorrow. There is no point to start dreaming just yet. It’s all about getting the maximum out of the race. As a team we can be really strong tomorrow."