Valtteri Bottas scores first F1 career pole in Bahrain

Beth Cruz
April 17, 2017

SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) - Valtteri Bottas beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton right at the end of qualifying on Saturday to take pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Bottas, who is slightly more animated than countryman Kimi Raikkonen, but not a lot, smiled happily but looked nearly embarrassed by all the attention. But 19-year-old Dutch driver Max Verstappen could make it a three-way fight. But that could be down to Mercedes' qualifying mode, and the race could be very different.

In response to Bottas' comments, Vettel quipped: "I wouldn't mind!" It was the first pole in Bottas' career. "It's quite technical, there's quite a few hard braking points, turn ins - it's easy to miss an apex or lockup slightly". "It's easy to lock up or miss apex slightly but hopefully if I can concentrate it will be alright tomorrow", he stated.

"As a driver, you never want to lose, and you never want to lose against a team mate but equally I see there is lot of respect for each other", said the Austrian.

"But there's no point to start dreaming. We should have a good vehicle in the race and take it from there". "Hopefully we can get that 1, 2".

Hamilton was quickest in Q1, Q2 and then seemingly in the shoot-out for pole, only for the Finn to nick it in the closing seconds with his best lap of one minute and 28.769 seconds.

Hamilton, who made a mistake on his flying lap, was magnanimous in defeat, adding: "Congratulations to Valtteri".

"When you feel like you're at your best and you do a good job and you're fighting against someone else who is doing just as good a job, it's that much more exciting and the more drivers we have in the mix then the more tense it gets", said Hamilton.

The threat from Ferrari failed to emerge, with Vettel 0.478s off pole after failing to improve on his second run.

"The more laps, the more time you spend with a vehicle and driving it, you get to be more at one with the auto". The tables could be turned on Sunday however, after Ferrari showing strong race pace during Friday's practice sessions, said the ESPN report. "I'm generally happy with the job I did and it's great for the team to be one-two".

"The final result is far from what we wanted, but that's how it ended up today".

"I don't necessarily know how good their long runs were, but I heard that they were quite quick, the Ferraris, so it's definitely going to be close, all of us, and looking after the tires is definitely very hard".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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