It took until his fifth season, but Valtteri Bottas finally has earned his first Formula One pole position.
The 27-year-old Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver edged teammate Lewis Hamilton by 0.023 seconds in Saturdays qualifying for the 2017 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, according to Formula 1. Bottas finished with a time of 1:28.769, followed by Hamilton at 1:28.792 and Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who posted a time of 1:29.247.
Bottas’ thrilling final lap flipped the script for Hamilton, who was setting the pace for much of Saturday’s qualifying. After the round, the Fin was unable to hold back his excitement.
Although Hamilton surely wasn’t happy about coming up short, he showed support for his new teammate, saying “It’s great when nice things happen to nice people.”
The performances of the Mercedes’ drivers should go a long way in helping the team carry its success from the Chinese Grand Prix into Sunday’s Bahrain GP.
Thumbnail photo via Mercedes-AMG Petronas