Valtteri Bottas described qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as “a great performance from the team” after Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport secured a fifth consecutive front row lock-out at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The Finn, who was on pole last year, had to settle for second this year and praised the “exceptional” effort from team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pip him to pole position.
“A great performance from the team – it’s impressive to see that even though we’ve secured the constructors’ title in Brazil, everyone is still performing on a really high level, everyone’s still happy to be here and really motivated.
“I was hoping for pole today, but I think Lewis did another exceptional qualifying and I didn’t quite find enough time in Q3.”
Bottas believes there will be chances in the race for him tomorrow after a “decent” Q3 lap but is wary of the threat of Scuderia Ferrari and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.
“I knew that there was room for improvement left after my first run in Q3 and both Lewis and I found some time, but he just managed to get a more complete lap together.
“However, I’m happy that I got a decent lap in Q3 and that we were able to secure a well-earned front row lockout for the team.
“Our pace looked good, but it is extremely close with Ferrari and Red Bull, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the race tomorrow.
“There are always opportunities in the race to get ahead, so I will be waiting for my chance and hopefully come in first.”