Bottas Takes Second Pole of Season in Russia

Charles Coates/Getty Images

SOCHI, Russia—R.I.S.—Valtteri Bottas had been outqualified by his teammate Lewis Hamilton quite a lot this season, but the Finn put all his resources together to record a 1:37: 387 fastest time to take his second pole this season, ahead of the Briton Saturday afternoon at the Sochi Autodrom in preparation for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, Russia. Sebastian Vettel finished in third.

When one member of the press afterwards asked Bottas about whether the Mercedes pair will fight for positions in the race and the subject of team orders, the Finn simply replied that there was only one goal.

"My approach to the race tomorrow is definitely to try and win the race.” He said.  “You cannot have any other goal starting from pole. It's just going to be, for sure, the aim.”

Bottas had been outstanding all throughout the final session, after placing second for the previous two sessions to Hamilton. But when Hamilton himself overshot one of the turns on the back straight, it gave the Finn more ammunition to stay ahead of his teammate. Hamilton finally gave up minutes from the end as he pulled into the pits, satisfied with his result.

Both Ferraris of Vettel and outgoing Kimi Raikkonen could not get any closer to either Mercedes, placing third and fourth, respectively for Sunday’s race.

Most of the Renault powered cars never continued to the final session, because of engine changes for race day. Both Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, got out of their cars in the second session, never making any more attempts in qualifying. Along with Fernando Alonso, who exited the first session, will begin the race at the back of the grid. Even more technical were both Renault drivers of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr., who both decided that the mixed grid because of the penalties, along with conserving their tires, would be better to exit the second session, hoping that they will move up after they both finished in 14th and 15th, respectively.

However, the day from fifth to tenth belonged to Force India, Sauber, and the American Haas F1 Team, as Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez took Sixth and Eighth for the Silverstone team, Seventh and tenth for Charles LeClerc and Marcus Ericsson for the Swiss team, and for Haas, a brilliant fifth for Kevin Magnussen and ninth place with Romain Grosjean.

After realizing that the goal for race day is to win, Bottas continued by saying that he has a teammate that is comfortably leading the world drivers’ championship.

 "But, for sure we, as a team, we're fighting for both championships.” Bottas stated. “Lewis (Hamilton) is leading the championship by quite a gap to Sebastian and a very big gap from me, so we have to keep those things in mind. My approach, starting the race, is trying to win, but we'll see how it goes.''


At Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia

Final Qualifying Results

1 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes – 1:31:387

2 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes

3 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari

4 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari

5 Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team

6 Esteban Ocon (FRA) Force India

7 Charles LeClerc(MON) Sauber

8 Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India

9 Romain Gorsjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team

10 Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber

11 Max Versatappen (NED) Red Bull Racing

12 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing

13 Pierre Gasly (FRA) Toro Rosso

14 Carlos Sainz Jr. (SPA) Renault

15 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault

16 Brendon Hartley (NZL) Toro Rosso

17 Fernando Alonso (SPA) Mclaren

18 Sergey Sirokin (RUS) Williams

19 Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren

20 Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams

Mark Gero

A 16 year veteran of writing formula one racing weekend race reports, features and team launches, Mark has worked for such companies as all-sports, e-sports, The Munich Eye newspaper in Germany, and Autoweek. A former member for this site four years ago, Mark now is a contributor for R.I.S.

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Volume 2018, Issue 9, Posted 12:55 PM, 09.29.2018