Valtteri Bottas has hailed his third consecutive pole position as proof of his best start to a Formula 1 season as the championship leader plots to keep his rivals at bay at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver produced a simply stunning pole position lap, setting a new track record at Circuit de Catalunya with a 1m 15.406s, which put a massive 0.634s gap between him and nearest rival Lewis Hamilton in second place.

Bottas has duly called his qualifying performances the best of his career so far but accepts it will count for little if he doesn’t convert it into victory.

“In terms of qualifying performance, this has been, so far, my best start of the year in Formula 1,” Bottas said. “But it’s not it’s not just about Saturdays.

“They’re super-important, but also the race performance, the start performance I think are also going to be a big key. But it’s one of the key things.”

Having seen off early attacks from Hamilton at the start of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on his way to victory, Bottas lost his lead into the first corner to his Mercedes teammate, and with it the win, at the race before that in China. With the same front row fight anticipated at Circuit de Catalunya, a track historically difficult to overtake at, Bottas is already preparing to take on Hamilton and the rest of his rivals on the first lap which could decide the outcome of the race.

“It’s going to be important,” he said. “It’s one of the longer runs down to Turn 1, so the start performance is going to be definitively going to be important.

“There’s also a but of a tow effect for the cars behind. On a track where is definitively difficult to overtake, the start and Turn one are going to be important. It’s pretty normal and I’m looking forward to the fight.”

Bottas leads the F1 world championship standings by a single point having produced identical results to Hamilton with two wins and two seconds places but has an extra point from setting the fastest lap in Australia.


Loading Comments...