Bottas pleased to deliver on pole promise in Brazil after Mercedes gunpoint robbery

Valtteri Bottas was pleased to deliver on his promise to Mercedes that he would take Formula 1 pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix after a number of team members were caught up in a gunpoint robbery on Friday night.

A minibus carrying Mercedes team members was targeted while leaving the Interlagos circuit on Friday night, with a number of valuables being stolen but no individuals sustaining any injuries.

Bottas charged to his third F1 pole position in style at Interlagos on Saturday, beating Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with a late lap after seeing Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton crash out early.

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The Finn revealed after the session he’d told his crew he would put his car on pole to boost spirits after the incident on Friday night, and was glad to have done exactly that.

“I spoke with them this morning and I said we were going to put it on pole position and cheer everyone up, so I’m glad we did that,” Bottas said.

“First of all I’m happy everyone is in one piece and nothing physical happened to anyone but it was a pretty bad situation to be in, and I’m happy everybody is still here.”

Bottas’ charge to pole came following a rough patch of form that saw him fade out of the fight for the drivers’ championship, with the Mercedes racer admitting it was a much-needed result following a recent upward trend.

“For sure it has been more difficult, sometimes better but that’s how it goes in racing,” Bottas said.

“I think the performance line, for me, in the last few races has been all the way going up, I’m just feeling better and better with the car, we’ve just been working hard on the issues we’ve been having.

“We’ve been learning a lot, getting better, learning from the mistakes and the there tricky sessions. The last few weekends have been a lot better, like in the last one, in qualifying, there were just a couple of hundreds of a second between Lewis and me.

“It’s also been the case all weekend here, so it was a shame he wasn’t in Q3, but I’m still very pleased with my performance.”

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