Valtteri Bottas says he “had the shakes” after securing pole position for the Emilia Romagna F1 Grand Prix.

Going into the final runs in Q3, Bottas was a tenth shy of Hamilton but the Finn managed to put a lap together to take pole by just under a tenth.

It is Bottas’ fourth pole of the year but he’s only converted five of his previous 14 poles into race victories.


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Reflecting on qualifying at Imola, Bottas said: “Yes, you always have to, there are never easy pole positions. 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 those and I definitely had the shakes after. It was good fun.”

Bottas says finding gains in the final sector of the lap was crucial to taking pole ahead of Hamilton, who was the faster of the two in the final third of the lap throughout the session.

“For me, the Turns 2/3 was something I was working on all day and I only got there at the end,” Bottas 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!”

With a long run down to Turn 1, Bottas expects Hamilton and Max Verstappen to try and make the most of the slipstream on Lap 1.

“Yes, it’s going to be good fun. 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.”