Bottas snatches pole: ‘I just love qualifying’

Jon Wilde
Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas will start from pole position for the 70th Anniverary Grand Prix at Silverstone

Valtteri Bottas celebrated his new Mercedes contract by securing pole position for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix – and it clearly meant a huge amount.

After outpacing team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.063sec, Bottas yelled “yes” six times over the team radio – two days after he had been confirmed with the World Champions for another season in 2021.

The good news of the last 48 hours was much needed for the Finn, whose hopes of dethroning Hamilton this year suffered what looked to be a terminal blow when he dropped from P2 to P11, out of the points, due to a late puncture in last week’s British Grand Prix, also at Silverstone.

With Hamilton winning the race despite also suffering a tyre failure on the final lap, Bottas is now 30 points behind in the World Championship standings – but starting from pole position this time will boost his chances of eating into the gap.

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“It feels good. I just love qualifying, especially when it goes well,” said Bottas.

“It’s a good feeling to start from pole position and to get everything out of myself and the car. We’ve been able to find more in terms of set-up and I’m really pleased with the steps we’ve made. I’m proud to drive this amazing car, it’s so quick.

“From last weekend to this we’ve been working on everything we could improve with the car. We’ve been able to go in the right direction.

“The mentality from pole position is that the only aim is to win the race and obviously the starting point for it is good.

“I think the race pace is there so I’ll try to get a good start off the line, like I did last week, and go from there. Mentally it’s to try to win it, that’s it.”

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