Beating Hamilton more 'special' at Silverstone, says Bottas

After coming out on top of a dramatic British Grand Prix qualifying session, Valtteri Bottas knew he had pulled off an impressive feat.

Bottas (C), Hamilton (L) and Leclerc (R) are the top three on the grid at Silverstone   -  Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas believes beating Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone is a more "special" achievement given his Mercedes team-mate's impressive record at his home race.

Hamilton is looking to win the British Grand Prix for a record sixth time on Sunday, but will have to do so from second on the grid.

That is after Bottas topped him by just 0.006 seconds in qualifying, the narrowest margin for 176 Formula One races.

And Bottas is also not discounting the threat of Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc due to start third on soft tyres having come within 0.079secs of the Finn.

"It is a difficult track to beat Lewis - everyone knows that, he knows it, I know it and that is why it makes it quite special," Bottas said to Sky Sports after Saturday's qualifying.

"My emotion is that I am very happy. It was not easy. Everyone was making small mistakes here and there, but the lap was good enough and I'm really, really pleased.


"I didn't quite get the lap together especially in the first part. But it was enough – it is very easy to make mistakes and everyone was struggling a bit, so I am happy to be on top.

"That was the first part but the most important is Sunday. I'm sure Lewis is not going to give up on the win and the Ferraris are going to be in the mix. 

"Ferrari can be [a threat], especially at the beginning of the race starting with a softer tyre. Hopefully after that we should have the upper hand but you never know with the weather and it is racing. 

"I'm sure it is going to be a nice race. But I'm here to win, not to come second or third."

Not good enough

Hamilton, meanwhile, was frustrated at his own performance which included a mistake on his first Q3 run, but would not give up hope.

"Ultimately not good enough," said the Briton, who leads the world championship by 31 points. "We worked really hard throughout the session but it just got a little bit away from us.

"I sacrificed a lap in Q2 which would've helped us get a reading of how the car was but we didn't end up doing it. I had that mistake on the first lap and the second one just was not really that great.

"So fair play and congratulations to Valtteri, he did a good job. Sometimes [the lap] does come to you, sometimes it doesn't - just one of those days."


Incredible energy

On the support of the home fans, Hamilton added: "The energy is just incredible, it is uplifting not just for me but also for the team. 

"But it also a huge amount of pressure for us to deliver and naturally you want to deliver, so of course it is disappointing not to have had a great day.  

"Nothing you can do about what has happened. Having a pole position for the team is a great thing but from days like this you learn no matter how big or small the issue is or the mistakes are.

"You carry it forwards and try to improve. I am going to try and bring myself together in a positive light and come back with some strength, that is the goal."

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