Bottas grabs first career pole position for Bahrain Grand Prix

New Mercedes driver edges out team-mate Lewis Hamilton to take advantage for Sunday's race

Valtteri Bottas claimed his first career pole position on Saturday when he beat his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton with a well-controlled lap in Saturday’s qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old Finn, who joined the team as replacement for retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, made the most of a poor final lap by the Briton to claim the prime starting position for Sunday’s race.

Hamilton, who was seeking his seventh successive pole position and third in a row this season, gave his team-mate a generous hug after the session.

"We will only be celebrating for a short time tonight. The most important thing is to be ready for tomorrow's race," said Bottas.

Rosberg was among the first to congratulate the pole sittter.

"Congrats Valtteri Bottas 1st pole! Great lap. Happy for all you guys at merc that Valtteri is going well," tweeted Rosberg.

Three-time champion Hamilton, who shares the championship lead with Sebastian Vettel and who had been quickest until the final runs, was unable to find the extra speed he needed on his second run in Q3 to retain pole position.

"Big congratulations to Valtteri," said Hamilton. "Today he was just quicker - hats off to him."

Four-time world champion Vettel was third fastest for Ferrari, unable to make an impact on the two Mercedes men who took the front row. It was the sixth consecutive year in Bahrain that Mercedes won pole.

"Overall I was happy with how the car felt. The gap to Mercedes was bigger than I expected but we will fight tomorrow," said Vettel.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fourth for Red Bull ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull and Nico Hulkenberg who qualified seventh for Renault.

Felipe Massa was eighth for Williams ahead of Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Haas and Briton Jolyon Palmer in the second Renault.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Saudi blockade vexes Qatar's $200bn World Cup projects

Saudi blockade vexes Qatar's $200bn World Cup projects

Qatar is spending $500m a week to bring the world’s biggest sporting...

Qatari cycling event foreshadows 2022 World Cup weather concerns

Qatari cycling event foreshadows 2022 World Cup weather concerns

Competitors at a world cycling competition in Qatar may have...

Bahraini overtures to Kenya-born runners attract medals, controversy

Bahraini overtures to Kenya-born runners attract medals, controversy

Oil-rich Bahrain has been luring poor but talented young runners...

3
Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking