Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

Bottas thrilled to end five-year wait for pole position

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas thanked his team for perfecting his car’s set-up for the cooler evening conditions in Bahrain after taking the first pole position of his career.

“I’m really, really happy,” said Bottas after beating team mate Lewis Hamilton by two-hundredths of a second in qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017
2017 Bahrain GP qualifying in pictures
“First pole in my career, my fifth season now in Formula One. It took a few races but got it and hopefully the first of many.”

“I want to see big thanks to the team, giving me this car. We’re both starting from the front row. I think we’ve done a really good job this weekend, good focus on the evening conditions. Really managed to get a lot of lap time out of the car in cooler conditions and hopefully that may help us tomorrow. So grateful for the team.”

“It’s not an easy track to get everything right,” Bottas explained. “It is quite technical, there’s quite a few difficult braking points turning into the corner.”

“Easy to have a lock-up or miss the apex slightly. So it is just getting the lap together and getting the car well-balanced it was a good enough lap for the pole today so that’s good.”

Mercedes swept the front row in Bahrain and Bottas said the team can aim for a one-two finish in the race as well.

“I think the main thing is for sure we need to enjoy for a short period of time, what we’ve done so far in the weekend. But the main thing is tomorrow and there’s no point start dreaming about anything.”

“We need to look at everything, whatever we can do tomorrow, work together as a team and plan a good strategy for the race tomorrow. It’s all about focusing for the race, getting the maximum out of it is a good place to start. I think as a team we can be really strong tomorrow and hopefully we can get that one-two.”

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 16 comments on “Bottas thrilled to end five-year wait for pole position”

    1. First pole for a Finnish driver since 2008 British GP with Heikki Kovalainen. No pole for Kimi for 9 (!) years.

      1. Nice stats @blockwall2 . It’s well deserved for Bottas and I hope he can soon take a win, although not necessarily tomorrow

    2. That looked like Ham losing it in the middle sector rather than Bot beating Ham.
      Still, not bad… now he has to do it in the race.

      1. Qualifying is all about getting it done on a single lap, so well done to Bottas. However, people are already jumping the gun on Bottas beating Hamilton over the course of the season. Especially when it seems Hamilton had a decent advantage in ultimate pace.

      2. That’s the whole point of qualifying though, getting a fast lap without pushing too hard and making a mistake. Bottas found the limit, Hamilton went over it.

    3. Get in there, Nico!

    4. Got the monkey off his back. Was crucial for him to grab a Pole this season if he wants to stay beyond this year.
      Can he finish it with two eager WC’s hunting him down tomorrow?

      1. To be honest, he’ll need to challenge Lewis througout to keep his seat. Constructors Championship is far more important to these manufacturers than the Drivers Championship. So of he at the very least doesn’t follow Lewis closely he won’t return next year.

      2. He seems to have a handle on defensive tactics, based on his previous record, so let’s hope VB gets way cleanly and then we will see…

    5. Sviatoslav (@)
      15th April 2017, 17:44

      It doesn’t matter where you start, it only matters where you finish.
      I hope there will be a great fight between Bottas and Vettel for the second place.

      1. Ok but with Kimi winning that would leave Lewis only fourth. I assume you think he’ll have a bad start.

    6. Actually good for Hamilton too. Bottas pushing and maybe beating him in qualifying means more chance that Mercedes can lock out the front and control the race. Also might stop that complacency that was already creeping in that it was all going to be about Hamilton and Vettel this season. Perhaps not.

      The pressure’s on Raikkonen.

      1. The pressure is on Hamilton and Vettel. Kimi doesn’t feel pressure.

    7. Good on ya Bot l hope you can take the race also…palmer made it into q3 and according to the Brit media it was like the 2nd coming till Nico’s time flashed up.. too funny

    8. Impressive to see Hamilton seemingly happy for Bottas, hugging him and smiling and all. Interesting to see if their good relation will last, if they become each others worst competitor:-)

    9. Well done to Bottas but boy, this kid is boring… My goodness I grew up watching big personalities, Mansell, Piquet, Prost, Berger, Senna. Compared to those guys Bottas is like a drone, monotone and lacking any personality. But hey again well done for the pole.

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