Thrilled Bottas enjoying 'the shakes' as Mercedes 'in our own league'

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Valtteri Bottas was delighted to feel "the shakes" again after beating Lewis Hamilton to pole for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Finn set what is now the new track record around the Red Bull Ring of 1m02.939s to lead his teammate by just 0.012s, as Mercedes dominated the field.

“It feels really good,” Bottas said after qualifying.

“I’ve missed this feeling you know after the qualifying - the shakes, it’s something special when you push the car to the limit and obviously we’ve been preparing for this for a long time - it feels so good, I can’t say much more than that.

“And our team has done an amazing job. We seem to be in our own league.”

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That was proven by the half-second advantage Mercedes enjoyed over Red Bull's Max Verstappen in third, which around the Spielberg circuit is frankly a lifetime.

But for Bottas that gap highlights the level of work and development done back at Brackley.

“It’s very impressive to see,” he said. “It’s only the first qualifying session but I am so impressed so thanks to everyone in the team, all the factories, it’s truly an amazing car to drive.

“Obviously a good result today but tomorrow is what matters.”

Despite being unable to convert his practice advantage into pole, Hamilton was equally pleased to see the performance of the W11.

"I think we have proven every year that we are the best team. We work very well together and we dare to speak out to each other when we disagree with something," he said, explaining why they're able to continue improving.

"We're really one team, that's really nice to work with. Congratulations to Valtteri. This is, of course, a very good start to the season and I'm glad we're finally here to race."

Speaking later to Sky Sports, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff would tone down the hype a little, noting points are only handed out on a Sunday.

"We knew we had a strong car, we didn't know if there would be a surprise from Red Bull, we are always vigilant," the Austrian said.

"They took a risk to go for another strategy, knowing that the temperature would be different. Maybe they took that risk because they knew they were going to be short on speed."

Perhaps for the rest of the season and also 2021, when these cars will be used again, it might be good for F1 if Toto's caution is well-founded.