Valtteri Bottas stormed to the maiden pole position of his career this evening after a stunning Qualifying session for Sunday’s much-awaited Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix
Bahrain International Circuit once again sparkled under the stars and the action on track was just as awesome.
Bottas registered his best lap of one minute 28.769 seconds at the very end of Q3, and neither Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton nor the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel or Kimi Raikkonen could match his pace.
“I’m really happy,” said Bottas, who is having a spectacular first season with Mercedes after previously racing with Williams. “This is the first pole in my career. It took a few races, but I finally got it and hopefully it is the first of many.
“I want to say a big thanks to the team for getting this car and driving it to pole. I think we did a really good job this week and on focusing on the evening conditions. So I’m grateful for the team.”
Bottas’s pole-winning lap was only two-hundredths-of-a-second faster than Hamilton’s 1:28.792. Vettel’s best of Q3 was 1:29.247.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo qualified fourth while Raikkonen managed to secure fifth place.
Max Verstappen was sixth, Nico Hulkenberg seventh, Felipe Massa eighth, Romain Grosjean ninth and Jolyon Palmer was in 10th position.
Eliminated from Q2 were Daniil Kvyat, Lance Stroll, Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon and three-time Bahrain Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso.
Out in Q1 were Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso, Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren, Sergio Perez of Force India, Marcus Ercicsson of Sauber and Kevin Magnussen.