Valtteri Bottas dished out one of the laps of the season to take pole position at Sochi, ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, who too was going at a blistering pace in Russia. The Mercedes duo were way ahead of their closest rivals Ferrari, locking out the front row for raceday tomorrow.
This is the second time in two years that Bottas has out qualified Hamilton at Sochi, and in fact Bottas has never ever been out qualified by his teammate in Sochi.
Bottas was ecstatic after securing pole and has confirmed that he would be going all out for the win from pole position tomorrow.
It’s POLE POSITION for Valtteri Bottas ahead of tomorrow’s #RussianGP!
— Formula 1® Game (@Formula1game) September 29, 2018
Enjoyed that 🏁@MercedesAMGF1 have done great job recently with all the upgrades and impovements 👊🏼
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) September 29, 2018
Bottas’ comments suggested that he was confident that no team orders will be issued on raceday.
“My approach to the race tomorrow is definitively to try and win the race – you cannot have any other goal starting from pole,” Bottas said.
“It’s just going to be the aim. As a team we’re fighting for both championships. Lewis is leading the championship by quite a gap to Sebastian and a very big gap from me, so we have to keep those things in mind.
“My approach, starting the race, is trying to win, but we’ll see how it goes.” he added.
Bottas however is vary of what can happen going into Turn 1 here in Sochi, where last year, Bottas got into the lead, thanks to the slipstream from the Ferrari duo.
“It feels good. I’ve still got a bit of shakes, it takes some concentration but it’s fine,” he said.
“Maybe I don’t look like it but I’m really happy for sure! But it’s only the first step in this weekend.
“It’s a massively long run from the start line to turn one so it’s going to be important to keep the position.” he added.
However, Mercedes aren’t quite sure if no team orders will be issued, as Wolff admitted that it would be difficult to shell out team orders, but the option would be discussed and could be issued depending on how the race pans out.
Toto Wolff admits telling Valtteri Bottas to help play supporting role to Lewis Hamilton tomorrow will be ‘difficult’ now https://t.co/AdOeyLvhdO
— Jon Noble (@NobleF1) September 29, 2018
“It is going to be difficult to tell him ‘you are not allowed to race’ after putting it on pole,” Wolff said, as quoted by Sky Sports
“We will have the conversation tomorrow morning, and let’s see how the race is going to pan out.” Wolff added.
Wolff too admitted that the Turn 1 could be very tricky, something that Mercedes exploited to perfection last year and could be exploited by Ferrari this year.
“That is the tricky bit here because Valtteri from P3 slipstreamed them [last year] and was in the lead,” he said.
“So you need to have a good start and be as wide as a Mercedes truck, and hope they are not having a good start because if not you have lost the race.” he added