Daz­zling Bot­tas seizes pole in Rus­sian GP

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - SP RT - —AFP

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.

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