Hamilton pleased for 'great' Bottas after Italian GP qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton praised Valtteri Bottas for his "great job" after being pipped to P1 in qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion had set the pace throughout Friday but missed out to his teammate by less than a tenth of a second after the final run of Q3.

Bottas did have the benefit of a fresh power unit, meaning a back of the grid start on Sunday, but Hamilton was happy for Valtteri.

“It was close between us all but Valtteri did a great job at the end,” he admitted.

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"[It was] not the best of qualifyings for me, Q1 was really good, for whatever reason I just struggled in the session

“But anyway I’m on the front row and it’s great to have a front row lock-out for the team.

“Particularly with the news last week (that Bottas is leaving Mercedes for Alfa Romeo in 2022) it’s great to see Valtteri driving so well.”

Right behind Hamilton on the grid will be his championship rival Max Verstappen in third.


And the Briton was caught out by the Red Bull's sudden performance in Q3, with Max initially just 0.017s behind after the first run before ending four tenths back.

“I don’t know where they pulled out their pace, but it’s going to be close,” Lewis told Sky Sports.

“They were miles off in Q1 and Q2 but all of a sudden they were right up there with us. So it shows it’s still super-close.”