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Bottas confident he will be able to keep Verstappen at bay

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas starts Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix from pole position, and is thinking only about keeping Max Verstappen behind him when the lights go out...

Valtteri Bottas will start Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix from pole position, after finishing second in qualifying on Saturday. With Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton taking a 10-place grid drop as a result of an engine change, Bottas inherits the top spot and the advantage for the start of the race. As Hamilton's main title rival, Max Verstappen, starts alongside Bottas on the front row, the Finn is aiming to keep the Red Bull driver behind him when the lights go out. "Of course, the start is always a risk, but honestly, I think we have a pretty good race car," Bottas told Sky Sports. "As long as I don't do mistakes, I should be able to keep him behind hopefully, but then, over the race, the strategy will always play a part. "But at the moment, I'm feeling confident in the car, and the pace is good, so I think I just really need to focus on my own race tomorrow, step by step." Having come through the tricky conditions of qualifying, taking place in both cold and damp conditions, as well as the rapid drying through Q2, Bottas is confident that the race pace of the Mercedes is up to the task. "It's something we'll see tomorrow, but at least today, we got to try out both conditions, and also kind of the transition of the weather from wet to dry," he explained. "The car feels good and there was no surprises in the wet so, like I said earlier, [the] confidence is there, and [we] just need to do the job tomorrow."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying