Bottas 'shaking' after snatching Imola pole from Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his pole position in qualifying parc ferme.
© XPB 

Valtteri Bottas admitted that he was 'shaking' after successfully snatching pole position for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the end of Saturday's qualifying session in Imola.

Bottas had been fastest in Q1 and Q2, but it looked like recent history was once again repeating itself when he was narrowly behind Hamilton after the first runs in the final top ten pole shoot-out round.

But Bottas was able to improve his time to 1:13.609s with his final effort, leaving him 0.097s ahead of Hamilton with his 15th career pole position and his fourth of the 2020 season.

"It is never easy, pole position," he told Sky Sports F1's Johnny Herbert after the end of the session.

"I really enjoyed this track," he continued. "When you push flat out it's beautiful, and I knew I had to improve in the last lap.

"I found those small gains that were needed and it's a great feeling when you get those," he added. "I definitely had the shakes after, so it's good fun!

"For me [it was all about] turn 2 and turn 3, that's something that I was really working on today and only got there at the end," he said, "The last couple of corners as well.

"I struggled when I tried to risk and go for it," he admitted, "I struggled with instability with the car. But I knew in the last lap, I had to try.

Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 in the post qualifying FIA Press Conference.

"So I risked it and the car just managed to turn in nicely, and that's good."

But as everyone knows, there are no points handed out on Saturday - and starting from pole position will only pait a target on his back for the start of the race on Sunday.

A long run down to turn 1 means that there is a risk that Hamilton or Red Bull's Max Verstappen will be abel to get a 'tow' into the first corner which could undo all of the Finn's hard work in qualifying,

"It's gonna be a good fight," he acknowledged, "It's one of the longest runs in the calendar in to turn 1.

"No doubt Lewis and Max will be will be chasing me," he said, while insisting that pole was still the best seat in the house for the start of tomorrow's race,

"It's a good place to start, and hopefully the pace is good. So game on!"

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