A very tight Qualifying session this afternoon at Istanbul Park, with less than 1s separating the pole sitter from Sergio Perez who set the 7th fastest time. The fastest lap of the day - 1m22.868s – is a new record for the circuit and it belongs to Lewis Hamilton’s W12. The official pole man, however, is his teammate Valtteri Bottas, as the Brit took a new ICE for his PU resulting in a 10-place-grid-penalty.
Tomorrow Bottas will be starting from P1 for the 18th time in his F1 career, making him the only driver -along with René Arnoux – to have reached so many pole positions without winning a World Championship title.
“Today was a good Quali - not easy conditions, especially in Q1 which was on the edge with the damp parts and still in Q3 there were damp sections but I put together some good laps,” said Bottas.
“On the final lap, I missed a little in the last sector with some understeer but other than that, the lap was really nice. I enjoyed it and obviously as a team result, today was pretty ideal.”
P1 for tomorrow 🇹🇷🏁@LewisHamilton had the upper hand today by a tenth of a second, but with the penalties I’ll be starting on pole tomorrow. Great job by the team today @MercedesAMGF1 👊#VB77 #F1 #TurkishGP pic.twitter.com/e3n4uAWjbq— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) October 9, 2021
With only two points between the title contenders, Bottas’ position gives Mercedes a chance to try and hold Verstappen behind in a circuit where the silver arrows seem to be more comfortable.
“Max is starting next to me and the Ferrari has looked strong this weekend, so it’ll be a tough race but we’ll give it our all. We have a good race car, I just need to keep the focus on my own race, avoid mistakes and stay ahead,” he continued.
“Strategy will always play a part but I’m feeling confident and looking forward to the start and getting the job done.”