The pole was the 64th of the Briton's career, one short of his late Brazilian boyhood idol Ayrton Senna in the all-time lists. One side of the garage had one or two mechanics and the other side was completely crowded, like bees hovering around the vehicle. He then set the fastest lap of the session before Hamilton and Raikkonen went quicker. "You can see how close it is between us and it's all milliseconds between us".
He said: "I am very pleased and it is always a good starting point when you start from the second row and the guys did a great job to get the vehicle back on track".
"The race pace is looking good and the team has done an incredible job this weekend, as always. That for sure did not help, but the guys did a great job getting the auto back on track", Bottas remarked. The team's SFH70 challenger has been the quickest auto on race pace so far this year and both Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen are convinced the team can overcome its Achilles' heel of the current decade and successfully out-develop its rivals this year.
"The team has done an awesome job with the upgrades and the vehicle is working just as we expected", said Hamilton. But when they put Bottas's engine back together another problem was discovered in the form of a water leak.
The German had cause for concern in Q1 when he was ordered to stop his Ferrari over team radio, but a change of setting enable him to keep running at full tilt.
"Amazing job by the team and super proud we can get back up there and have a better weekend", said Hamilton after claiming the 250th pole by a British driver in Formula One.
"You could see Lewis was very strong and quick today".
Raikkonen suffered an oversteer moment at Turn 12 on his first Q3 run and lost time in sector two on his final effort. I will race the Indy 500, one of the best or the biggest race in the world. Everything is still wide open. "We could have had pole today, so not the ideal end, but if I consider where we were this morning, I think it is a really good recovery". All 10 were in the pits with just over four minutes remaining in the session.
"I've been coming here a long time, done so many laps, [but] the last chicane is a tricky one", he said during an on-track interview immediately after the session.
"As for Valtteri, I think he was probably lacking some miles after the engine change this morning; he had the pace but small mistakes on each lap meant he couldn't get on the front row".
Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein made it through to Q2 by just five thousandths of a second ahead of his team mate Marcus Ericsson, who was the first driver in the drop zone. I'm struggling a bit to find the rhythm, and a bit with the conditions, probably more myself than the vehicle.