Bottas Takes Pole in Brazil; Hamilton Crashes
INTERLAGOS, Brazil—R.I.S-- After seeing his teammate and newly crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton crash out in the opening qualifying round for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit, Valterri Bottas posted a last minute, 1:08:322 third session time to take pole ahead of the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Saturday afternoon.
Bottas dedicated his pole to the Mercedes staff, who on Friday night were robbed in their minibus while coming back from the circuit to their hotel.
“I spoke with them this morning, and I said that we were going to put it on pole position, and cheer everyone up.” Bottas stated to ESPN F1. “So, I am glad we did that.”
Bottas had to wait until the last possible second in the final qualifying round to get the best time just ahead of Vettel, who posted a best 1:08:494 in the previous round. The qualifying rounds were all without incident as Lance Stroll had to wait until the last part of the opening round to get his Williams out onto the circuit, following having to change his engine after the third round of practice earlier in the day.
The only and surprising event of the entire afternoon was the crash of Hamilton, who lost his rear of his Mercedes and slammed into the barriers at turn seven. Luckily, Hamilton was unhurt, but it supplied a rare moment, following his clinching of the formula one world championship just two weeks earlier in Mexico. It was also in addition, the only time during the day, where a red flag was issued to clean up the debris on the track. The delay only took no more than ten minutes before qualifying resumed.
Red Bull look again that they could be in the hunt for another win after Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Sergio Perez took sixth in the only top representative for Force India, while Fernando Alonso was pleased after finishing seventh. Renault had their first appearance in the top ten qualifying this season with Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. taking eighth and ninth positions, while home town hero Felipe Massa, in his final Brazilian Grand Prix of his career, finished in tenth.
Bottas finished off by saying that he was much happier in where he is for tomorrow’s race then where he usually is.
“It’s really good to start on pole here.” Bottas added. “We have a good car, and it is going to be a good race with Ferrari. But I would rather start from pole than, for example P3. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
At Interlagos, Brazil
Final Qualifying Results
1 Valterri Bottas (FIN) AMG Mercedes
2 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari
3 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari
4 Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing
5 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing
6 Sergio Perez(MEX) Force India
7 Fernando Alonso (SPA) McLaren-Honda
8 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. (SPA) Renault
10 Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams Martini Racing
11 Esteban Ocon (FRA) Force India
12 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team
13 Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren-Honda
14 Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team
15Brendon Hartley(NZL) Toro Rosso
16 Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber
17 Pierre Gasly (FRA) Toro Rosso
18 Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams Martini Racing
19 Markus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber
20 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) AMG Mercedes
A 16 year veteran of writing formula one racing weekend race reports, features and team launches, Mark has worked for such companies as all-sports, e-sports, The Munich Eye newspaper in Germany, racingnation.com and Autoweek. A former member for this site four years ago, Mark now is a contributor for R.I.S.