IN PICS: Bottas storms to first career pole in Bahrain

Mercedes' new man edges Lewis Hamilton to take his first-ever pole.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
15th April 2017

article:15th April 2017

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 amongst the first to congratulate the pole-sitter.

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.


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Valtteri Bottas storms to first career pole in Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying

Mercedes' new man edges Lewis Hamilton to take his first-ever pole.

Valtteri Bottas celebrates the first pole of his career.

Valtteri Bottas celebrates the first pole of his career.

The Top 3: Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel.

The Top 3: Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel.

Bottas out on track ahead of clinching pole position.

Bottas out on track ahead of clinching pole position.

Hamilton sportingly congratulates Bottas on his pole.

Hamilton sportingly congratulates Bottas on his pole.

Earlier, though, Hamilton must have been wondering how he'd been beaten.

Earlier, though, Hamilton must have been wondering how he'd been beaten.

Vettel could only manage third, with Ferrari looking off the pace.

Vettel could only manage third, with Ferrari looking off the pace.

Vettel: beaten by not just one but two Mercedes this time.

Vettel: beaten by not just one but two Mercedes this time.

Much to ponder for Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene ahead of Sunday's race.

Much to ponder for Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene ahead of Sunday's race.

Daniel Ricciardo snuck in ahead of Kimi Raikkonen to take 4th.

Daniel Ricciardo snuck in ahead of Kimi Raikkonen to take 4th.

Fernando Alonso had to be content with just getting into Q2.

Fernando Alonso had to be content with just getting into Q2.