Bottas thrilled with maiden pole in F1

© XPB 

Valtteri Bottas pulled off his first-ever pole position in Formula 1 on Saturday, and he did it in style.

His Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton had thrown down the gauntlet at the start of Q3 with a time of 1:28.792s that looked impossible to beat. But Bottas dug deep and went 0.023s faster, while Hamilton's own response fell short.

"Obviously I'm really happy," beamed the Finn after qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix. "It's the first pole in my career.

"It's my fifth season now in Formula 1. It took a few races but I've got it and hopefully it's the first of many."

"It's not an easy track to get everything right," he pointed out. "It is quite technical. There's quite a few difficult braking points, turning-ins to the corners. It's easy to have a lock up or just miss the apex slightly.

"It's just getting the lap together and get the car well balanced, and it was a good enough lap for the pole today so that's good."

Mercedes had been hiding their true form somewhat in practice, especially in the daytime sessions held in hotter conditions than will be the case in the Grand Prix itself.

"I think we've made a good job this week and to really focus on the evening conditions," Bottas acknowledged. "We really managed to get a lot of lap time out of the car in the cooler conditions. Hopefully that's going to help us."

Unfortunately for Bottas there's little chance to celebrate before planning begins for Sunday's race.

"You need to enjoy what you've done so far in the weekend," he said. "But the main thing is tomorrow.

"There's no point starting dreaming about anything. We need to look at everything. Whatever we can do tomorrow. Work together as a team and make a good strategy, and plan for the race tomorrow."

"It's all just focussing for the race and geting the maximum out of it.

"But definitely a good place to start. I think as a team we can be really strong tomorrow and hopefully we can get that one-two."

GALLERY: All the pictures from Saturday in Bahrain

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