Valtteri Bottas admits his satisfaction over winning pole position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is tempered by the memory of failing to convert pole into victory in Brazil.
The Finn will finish the season with back-to-back pole positions after beating teammate Lewis Hamilton with an impressive lap at the Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday. However, having been beaten off the line by Sebastian Vettel in Brazil two weeks ago – ultimately costing him the race win – Bottas admits he is not getting too excited after his latest result.
“It’s always a good feeling and this is only my fourth pole position in Formula 1, but it was a very clean and good season for us, really seamless,” Bottas said. “The team did a really good job with the time to send us to the track, we just had to do very minor changes during qualifying in the settings, really, so I just had to focus on the driving because the lap time was there.
“I managed to put it all pretty much together in the first run of Q3 – that was a really good lap and in the end it was good enough for pole. But tomorrow is the big day, so there’s no point getting too excited today. Today is today but tomorrow is the day.”
Admitting he was “so gutted” to lose out on victory in Brazil, Bottas added: “When you start from pole the target has to be the win, but from P2 or P3 it’s also possible.
“Yes, I only won once one from pole, but I haven’t had that many poles yet! Let’s see tomorrow.”
Hamilton has a newer engine than Bottas and was full of praise for his teammate at the end of the final qualifying session of 2017.
“What a lap – he just had an incredible qualifying and congratulations to him,” Hamilton said. “I gave it everything but I seemed to lose a little bit of pace going into qualifying. Valtteri did an exceptional job, so I’m really, really happy for him.”