Bottas on pole at Imola with Hamilton alongside

Valtteri Bottas powered to pole place for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on Saturday with the Finn’s crew mate and Components One chief Lewis Hamilton locking out the entrance row for dominant Mercedes.

Pink Bull’s Max Verstappen certified third, after an influence unit scare within the second part despatched mechanics scrambling to repair his automotive, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly a surprising fourth on the grid.

Mercedes want solely a fourth place end in Sunday’s race to safe a document seventh successive constructors’ world championship.

The pole, with a time of 1 minute 13.609 seconds, was a 13th in 13 races this season for the champions.

Sunday’s race would be the first grand prix at Imola since 2006, with the observe returning to flesh out a calendar ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the third in Italy this season.

“This observe, if you push flat out, it is lovely. I knew I had to enhance within the final lap and I discovered these small positive factors that have been wanted,” mentioned Bottas, who was zero.097 faster than Hamilton.

“It is a terrific feeling if you get these.

“It may be a very good combat. It is one of many longest runs within the calendar into Flip One so little doubt Lewis and Max shall be chasing me, however it’s a very good place to begin and hopefully the tempo is nice.”

Hamilton leads Bottas by 77 factors, having gained eight occasions to this point this season, and is closing on a record-equalling seventh drivers’ title though he must wait a minimum of till Turkey in two weeks’ time for an opportunity to clinch it.

“Valtteri did a terrific job. It was a fairly poor lap from myself. This stuff occur, you possibly can’t all the time get it excellent,” mentioned Hamilton, who had been quickest after the primary flying laps in part three.