Valtteri Bottas claimed pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a scorching lap around the floodlit Yas Marina Circuit, his second in as many races and this time, unlike in Brazil where he duffed the start, the Mercedes driver intends to convert the top spot start into victory and sign off the year in the best way possible.
Speaking after trumping his teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying, Bottas said, “The car was much better than at any point this weekend. I worked on the details and find enough details to be on pole. I was so gutted in Brazil getting pole and missing the win. I have a clear target for tomorrow.”
The Finn added, “It’s only the fourth pole of my whole career and I had to beat some pretty good qualifiers, so it’s a great feeling to start from P1. It was a really good qualifying, clean and smooth. With the changes we made, the car was behaving much better in qualifying than it did in free practice.”
Even teammate Hamilton was impressed, warmly congratulating Bottas as they gathered at the end of the session for the post-qualifying interviews in front of the grandstand on the main straight.
“He had an incredible qualifying and congratulations to him,” Hamilton said. “Valtteri did an exceptional job.”
Bottas summed up, “Run after run, I could always find some time here and there. But the weekend is not over yet, we want to finish strong [in the race] as well. We were nearly there in Sao Paulo and now I get a second opportunity.”
“It would mean a lot to end the season on a high. However, no matter how tomorrow goes, it will be nice to head into the winter break knowing that I had the speed to be on pole two races in a row.”
“That’s a good feeling and a good basis to start working for 2018,” added Bottas who can finish in the championship if he wins the race in Abu Dhabi and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel finishes 9th or lower on race night.