Dazzling Bottas seizes pole in Russian GP
Sochi: Valtteri Bottas upstaged his championshipleading Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton with a dazzling lap in Saturday’s qualifying session to seize pole position for the Russian Grand Prix.
The Finn, who has struggled to keep pace with the defending fourtime champion for much of the season, relished the confines of one of his favourite tracks as he clocked a record lap in one minute and 31.387 seconds.
His late fastest lap lifted him ahead of Hamilton, who aborted his final lap after running wide at Turn Seven, and put a grin back on his face as the Mercedes pair delivered another front row lockout.
It was his second pole this year and the sixth of his career. “Alright guys, good job that,” said Bottas, as he controlled his feelings after the session.
“I’m really happy, but it’s only the first step this weekend. It’s a massively long run to Turn One from the start.” Bottas claimed his maiden Formula One victory in Russia last year and showed a clear affinity with the track as Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who trails Hamilton by 40 points in the title race, took third.