Bottas: Back-to-back F1 poles ‘good basis’ for 2018

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Valtteri Bottas says scoring back-to-back pole positions in Brazil and Abu Dhabi is a “good basis” for a stronger display through the 2018 Formula 1 season, but is eager to end the season with a victory at Yas Marina on Sunday.

Bottas scored two race wins through his first half-season with Mercedes in Russia and Austria to put himself in contention for the drivers’ championship, only for his form to tail off through the second half of the year.

Bottas was unable to convert pole position into victory two weeks ago in Brazil, finishing the race second behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, but will have another chance to do so in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after topping qualifying for Mercedes.

“It’s only the fourth pole of my whole career and I had to beat some pretty good qualifiers, so it’s a great feeling to start from P1 tomorrow,” Bottas said after heading up a one-two finish for Mercedes in qualifying ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.

“It was a really good qualifying, clean and smooth. With the changes we made, the car was behaving much better in qualifying than it did in free practice.

“Run after run, I could always find some time here and there, I really worked on the details.

“But the weekend is not over yet; we want to finish strong tomorrow as well. We were nearly there in Sao Paulo and now I get a second opportunity. It would mean a lot to end the season on a high.

“However, no matter how tomorrow goes, it will be nice to head into the winter break knowing that I had the speed to be on pole two races in a row.

“That’s a good feeling and a good basis to start working for 2018.”