Valtteri Bottas takes 70th Anniversary pole position
August 9 2020 , 9:20 am
Valtteri Bottas beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
The Finn pipped Hamilton by just 0.063 seconds on his final lap at Silverstone to take his first pole since the season opener in Austria last month.
It could be an important moment for Bottas, who needs to try to reduce Hamilton’s 30-point championship lead.
Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg, standing in for Sergio Perez, beat Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to take third.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was another to put in a strong performance in fifth place, ahead of the second Racing Point of Lance Stroll.
Bottas saw his World Championship hopes take a hit at the British Grand Prix last weekend – a puncture with two laps to go dropped him out of the points when he had been cruising to second place behind Hamilton, who survived his own last-lap puncture to win.
Bottas needed to bounce back this weekend, and he has put himself in a great position to do so with pole position.
Hamilton was quicker by nearly 0.2secs on their first runs in the top 10 shootout – when they used the soft tyre – but when they switched to the medium for the final runs, the Briton found less time.
“It feels good. We made good steps on the set-up from last weekend, that’s why the qualifying performance was better. Amazing car to drive. It’s so quick,” said Bottas.
“Of course mentally when you are starting from pole you can only aim to win. The pace is there. First job is to get off the line, and the mentality is try to win it. That’s it.”
Hamilton said: “Valtteri did a good job and deserved the pole. For me, it wasn’t a perfect last lap.
“I don’t think many people can manage it on a one-stop. It’s highly unlikely.”
Hulkenberg’s Formula 1 career looked to be at an end after last season – his legacy largely being known as the best driver never to finish on the podium.
He was replaced at Renault by Esteban Ocon for 2020 and failed to get a paid drive elsewhere on the grid.
The German is only at Silverstone after replacing Perez at the last minute last weekend following the Mexican’s positive Covid-19 test. He was again recalled late on Friday when Perez was still not clear of the virus.
Last week, a technical problem meant he did not start the British Grand Prix. But after a strong performance in qualifying, Sunday’s race could be his last chance to spray some champagne in F1.