Bottas "had the shakes" after Imola pole lap

Jonathan Noble
·2 min read

The Finn had been locked in a tight qualifying battle with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the final qualifying segment at Imola, having been second overall after their first runs in Q3.

But Bottas managed to find some extra pace on his final run to snatch the top spot by less than one tenth of a second and give him a track position advantage on a track that looks difficult to overtake on.

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Speaking straight after the session, Bottas said that he had been left exhilarated by having to push his car to the limit around Imola.

"It is never easy, pole position, and yeah I really enjoyed this track," he said. "When you push flat out, it's beautiful. And I knew I had to improve in the last lap.

"I found those small gains that were needed and it's a great feeling when you get those. I definitely had the shakes after, so it's good fun."

Bottas said he had particularly struggled today in the opening sequence of corners, but also key to his pole effort was being brave in the final section.

"For me, Turn 2 and Turn 3, that's something that I was really working on today and only got there at the end," he said.

"The last couple of corners as well. I struggled when I tried to risk and go for it, I struggled with instability with the car. But I knew in the last lap, I had to try. So I risked it and the car just managed to turn in nicely, and that's good."

But while happy with his pole spot, Bottas is well aware about how exposed he is in the long run down to Turn 1 after the start.

"Yeah, it's gonna be a good fight," he said. "It's one of the longest runs in the calendar in to Turn 1 so no doubt Lewis and Max [Verstappen] will be will be chasing me. But, yeah, it's a good place to start, and hopefully the pace is good. So game on."