Bottas relieved with Shanghai pole after 'super close' fight

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Valtteri Bottas was breathing a sigh of relief after securing his first pole of the year at the Chinese Grand Prix.

 The Finn has been the pacesetter throughout the weekend in Shanghai but faced a tough challenge from teammate Lewis Hamilton, as the threat from Ferrari failed to materialise.

Split by just 0.007s after their first runs in Q3, it was a matter of thousandths during the second attempt but ultimately, Lewis couldn't improve as Bottas edged another 0.016s clear.

"It's been a good weekend so far, and I'm starting from pole," he said on the grid post-session.

“I felt really comfortable in the practice, but honestly I struggled in Q3 to get the perfect lap in but it was good enough.

"The lap was ok, not completely how I wanted it but luckily it was good enough for pole and the car has been really good this weekend and Lewis also managed to improve a lot in the qualifying. It was super close.”

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Saturday marked Bottas' first pole since Sochi last year but he'll be looking for his second win in three races if he can keep the chasing pack at bay on Sunday.

The 29-year-old will also look to keep his increase his slender championship lead, which is currently a point over Hamilton thanks to his fastest lap in Australia.