Two argue and a third benefits. That is what happened today in Portimao, Portugal, when Valtteri Bottas conquered his first pole position of the year, while Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, both running for the title, could only follow back.
All ten teams struggled on the undulating circuit of Portimao with tyre warm-up issue, something Bottas also experienced in Imola, where he qualifyied eight. Both Valtteri and Sir Lewis Hamilton tried to set a fastest lap time in Q2 on mediums, but in the second attempt the Silver Arrows couldn't replicate thier pace.
After the incredible incident Bottas was involed in in Imola, the Finn managed to put it all together to conquer his 17th caareer pole position. The Mercedes drivers and both Red Bull will start the reace wearing medium compund, while Carlos Sainz, 5th, is the first driver on soft.
"We worked hard to figure out the issues I was experiencing in qualifying, we put things right and this is the result, it’s more like how it should be, so I’m happy - said Bottas at the end of the day - in the first two races, I knew the speed was there but my main issue was tyre warm-up. We’ve put a lot of focus on that, we learned some lessons and I always knew our hard work would pay off. The key was to stay calm, execute the plan and focus on the small details, particularly on the out-laps".
After two complicated weekend, it seems like Mercedes has finally solved all of its problems.
"We’ve been stronger than expected which is a positive surprise but it’s only qualifying, I’m already thinking about tomorrow. We know the Red Bulls have a strong race car and we are expecting an epic battle" added Bottas.