Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Imola, 2020

Bottas “had the shakes” after pole-winning lap at Imola

2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Valtteri Bottas said he “had the shakes” after snatching pole position for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix away from his team mate with the final lap of qualifying.

The Mercedes driver took his fourth pole position of the season at the Imola circuit beating, Lewis Hamilton by less than a tenth of a second.

Bottas says he was shaking with excitement after crossing the line to take pole from his team mate.

“I knew I had to improve on my last lap and I found those small gains that were needed,” says Bottas. It’s a great feeling when you get those.

“I really enjoy this track. When you push flat-out, it’s beautiful. I definitely had the shakes after, so it was pretty fun.”

With only a tenth of a second separating him from his team mate, Bottas said his run through the first and final corners of the Imola circuit that made the difference.

“Turns two and three [Tamburello] were something that I was really working on today and then we got there at the end,” he explains.

“The last couple of corners as well I struggled with instability with the car when I tried to risk and go for it. I knew on the last lap I had to try, so I risked it and the car managed to turn in nicely and it was good.”

Bottas says he expects to come under severe pressure both from Hamilton and Max Verstappen in third during the start of tomorrow’s race.

“It’s going to be a good fight,” he says.

“It’s one of the longest runs to turn one on the calendar, so no doubt Lewis and Max will be chasing me. But it’s a good place to start. Hopefully the pace is good.”

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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14 comments on “Bottas “had the shakes” after pole-winning lap at Imola”

  1. Bets on how he will lose the win tomorrow:

    1. Bad start
    2. Mediocre tyre management and race pace
    3. Unlucky safety car

    1. I think Bottas has got over his bad starts. Or at least it is just as likely that any other driver will mess up their starts. To be fair, Hamilton had a start at Tuscany that was about as bad as Bottas in Italy, but it was masked by Verstappen suddenly losing power and then falling back forcing Leclerc, Stroll and one or two others (who all had better starts than Hamilton) to lift. Without Verstappen’s problem, Hamilton will have likely been 4th at best by the first corner. Then his first few laps were not great last race either.

      However, your other two points could well happen. Bottas hasn’t always been good at managing his tyres and his pace does tent to be better in qualifying. I still think his race pace is decent rather than medicore, but Verstappen and Hamilton just make him look worse because they are on another level. When Bottas was at Williams, he often got praised for his tyre management allowing him to get podiums.

      An unlucky safety car has helped Bottas to lose a race a few times in the past. China 2018 is one example.

      1. @thegianthogweed His start last time out wasn’t perfectly ideal as he lost some ground on the run to T1, although eventually stayed second after T1.

        1. But last week, #33 was on S tyres, while he was on M tyres, and the track had no grip, including a drizzle. This track has grip, and I do not believe the dirty side of the grid is bad as it was on some tracks this year. Still, Mercedes will need to choreograph their start tomorrow to ensure they are 1-2 on the first lap. I think overtaking should be possible tomorrow, but I am not that confident to say that it will be as easy as in Portimao’s race. The final corner is a slow-medium speed and fast corners normally allow better following into a DRS zone. We also need to take into account that it is a narrow track, and car placement when defending or attacking might be a huge factor.

    2. 4. Valterri, this is James…

  2. @kingshark Lol. Could be either one. Likely safety car because of all the gravel traps.

    1. @kingshark I’ll take my winnings now please..

  3. He’s a nice guy but comments like this don’t do him any favours.
    He has to believe its his right to be fastest and the best on the grid.

  4. None of the above. I’ll stick to what I said this morning. Bottas for the win. After his demeanour post qualifying and post race last week I think he needs this more than Hamilton. Not seen him that low since he’s been at Mercedes.

  5. Shake & Bake?

  6. It’s going to be a processional race. Lewis will drop Max then look after his tyres, taking the lead via DRS just before the pit stop, then extend his lead and Bottas will follow him home for 2nd

  7. I think it will most likely be number 2., possibly made worse by a 3 as well @kingshark, @thegianthogweed

  8. Bottas is probably getting the shakes from all the coffee he drinks. Could explain why he suck’s so much in races, he runs out of caffeine. Bad to rely on drugs even if it is legal ones.

  9. Roses are red, Violets are blue, Bottas on pole, Hamilton winning race

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