Pole-sitter Bottas hoping to avoid Brazil repeat

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas has said he was “gutted” after throwing away pole position in Brazil and is hoping to right that wrong in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Bottas secured back-to-back pole positions after his first hot lap in Q3 proved to be enough for him to start from P1 in the season finale.

Lewis Hamilton looked on course to knock his team-mate off top spot in his final run but his lap quickly unravelled through the middle sector.

“Today things were getting better and better in the practice session and it was all under control and I felt good in the car,” Bottas said.

“I’m really happy. I was so gutted in Brazil in the last race to be on pole and missing out on the win. I have a clear target for tomorrow.”

Bottas has struggled throughout the season which has included a few high points and Mercedes’ non-executive chairman Niki Lauda feels the pole position will do him the world of good.

Get in there boys!! ? 50th @f1 front-row lockout for the Silver Arrows!! #MercedesAMGF1 #AbuDhabiGP #VB77 #LH44 #F1

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“I’m very happy for him. For his brain and problems he had through the year, I’m very happy for him and his team,” Lauda told Sky F1.

“The driving style needs to fit the behaviour of the car and here we have the car very well set-up.

“I think it is impossible [for Bottas to get second in the championship from Vettel] unless Vettel has a problem, which I doubt.

“Nevertheless, they will race each other as always and we will see the outcome.”

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