Valtteri Bottas says that he was shaking after completing the Q3 lap that ensured he beat team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, to pole position.
Heading into qualifying, it was clear that Bottas was the only man who could beat Hamilton, with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen not quick enough.
The Finn failed to top FP1 as he usually does but was quicker than the Brit in both Q1 and Q2, although he had some difficulties in the latter due to getting a lap-time deleted.
After the first runs in the final session, he was trailing his team-mate, but did enough on his final lap to take pole by just under a tenth of a second in an effort that left him shaking.
“There are never easy pole positions,” he told Sky after the session.
“I’m really enjoying this track, when you push flat out it’s beautiful. I knew I had to improve in the last lap and found those small gains that we needed.
“It’s a great feeling when you can find those and I definitely had the shakes after. It was good fun.”
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For the majority of Saturday’s running, Bottas tended to be quicker than Hamilton in the early parts of the lap but lost time in the final sector.
That wasn’t the case in the final runs, and he puts his improvement down to taking risks.
“For me, the Turns 2/3 was something I was working on all day and I only got there at the end,” he added.
“Also in the last two corners I was struggling all day, every time I tried to go for it I struggled with the instability of the car but I knew in the last lap I had to try and I risked it and the car just managed to turn in nicely- it was good!”
Bottas now has now started at the front four times in 2020 but has only converted pole to a victory once, at the season opener.
He’s expecting it to be a challenge doing so again but is looking forward to it nonetheless.
“Yes, it’s going to be good fun,” the Finn concluded.
“It’s one of the longest runs in the calendar into Turn 1 so no doubt Lewis and Max will be chasing me, but it’s a good place to start from. The pace is good, so, game on.”
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