11 November 2017
Valtteri storms to pole position in São Paulo
Valtteri claimed his third career pole position - his first at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace and third of the 2017 season
After an accident in Q1, Lewis failed to set a time and will start tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix from the back of the grid
Today's result marks the 14th pole position for the Silver Arrows in 2017
Valtteri completed one run on the SuperSoft tyres in Q1, then two runs in both Q2 and Q3
Driver P3 Q1 Q2 Q3
Valtteri Bottas P1 P2 1:09.452 10 Laps P2 1:08.638 6 Laps P1 1:08.322 6 Laps
Lewis Hamilton P2 DNF 2 Laps
It was so close in qualifying, as it always tends to be in Brazil. I knew going into the last run in Q3 that I had to improve if I wanted to be on pole. I could feel and see that I was improving corner after corner. It's such a good feeling to get everything together in the end. It was very unfortunate that Lewis wasn't there for Q2 and Q3. So it was up to me to deliver for the team, and I'm very happy that I could. I have the clear goal to still try and become second in the Drivers' Championship. Having a good target makes everyone in the team work harder, including myself. It's going to be important to have a good, clean race tomorrow, but it won't be easy, the Ferraris are very quick as well. Turn 1 and 2 are always tricky in Interlagos, but hopefully I will get a good getaway so there won't be any issues. It's only my third pole position, so I will very much like the view from the starting line tomorrow.
I'm not really sure what happened, it all happened very quickly, but I take full responsibility. Of course, today is not the result that I would hope for, but challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them makes life meaningful. It is unfortunate - but it is what it is. I am just going to try to take the bubble of negativity that comes from that experience, learn from it, and move forward. Years ago, I came from quite far behind and had a great race, so I will try to have as much fun as possible tomorrow.
That was an unusual session - it started out pretty badly and finished pretty well! First of all, a brilliant job from Valtteri. It was a great lap from Sebastian in Q3, so Valtteri had to pull out all the stops to claim pole position. And he did. After a tough night for a number of our boys following yesterday evening's incident, this was the perfect reward for their professionalism and dedication. It was a tough session for Lewis and obviously very unusual to see him not set a time in qualifying. But rather than focus on the shunt, I was struck by the way he went straight to parc ferme to be the first to congratulate Valtteri on his pole position. That's a small example of our team spirit and the trust between two team-mates. Now it's all eyes on tomorrow's race. Lewis has a mountain to climb - but if anybody can, he can. And for Valtteri, there can only be one target. It will be an exciting, close race but we will be aiming to come out on top.
As expected, we saw much cooler temperatures today and intermittent rain, which changed both the way the car was working and the tyre operating window compared to yesterday. We had made small set-up changes in anticipation of this, while remaining mindful that tomorrow is forecast to be much warmer, and enjoyed a solid practice session this morning when both drivers were reasonably happy with the car - but it was also clear that we would be in a very close fight with Ferrari. Qualifying got off to a bad start with Lewis' accident at Turn 6 and this left us with just one car to focus on. Valtteri rose admirably to the challenge and did a great job. He improved on every run and put in a fantastic final lap, in tricky conditions with some light rain hanging around, and deservedly added another pole position to his growing collection. Tomorrow, we are expecting Ferrari and Red Bull to be very close to us on race pace. Interlagos always serves up an exciting Grand Prix and we don't expect tomorrow to be any different.