With Lewis Hamilton in doubt over his long-term future within the sport, Toto Wolff told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant that he is a fan of Max's style of driving and could become a Mercedes driver when his Red Bull contract expires.
The world champion improved on his final lap but was still 0.232secs off the pace.
Mercedes' decision to choose the fewest number of hyper-soft tyres for this weekend out of all the teams may have contributed as neither driver had tried them until Saturday morning, but Hamilton can not blame only that as Bottas ended up on the front row. Fortunately the forecast looks good this year, with only partly cloudy skies predicted for both Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race. The Briton has won the last three on the track that seems to suit the Mercedes vehicle with its heavy braking after long straightaways and tight chicanes.
It was clearly a strategic scrap as the teams were aiming to use the tyres in Q2 that would suit them best to start the race. The auto all weekend has been really strong, every session we made progress with the vehicle and I'm feeling confident on the track.
He has a 14-point lead over Vettel and a 38-point edge on Ricciardo.
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Asensio, 22, said of the Frenchman: "What Zidane did took us all a little by surprise, but my experience with him has been very good".
Sauber's Marcus Ericsson also didn't make it out of Q1, he glanced the wall in Turn 9 and was lucky to not break something on the auto, as he continued on he almost collided with a Red Bull, narrowly avoiding contact.
Regarding how often that happens, Ricciardo said: "I wouldn't say a lot, but we have a pretty good off-track relationship". "But it showed in Monaco that we have a great vehicle". Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel is second with 96 points and Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo is third with 72 points.
Vettel sees another chance to honour the memory of Gilles Villeneuve, who died in a crash at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix, with a Ferrari win. "I quickly saw that it was going to be hard to take pole position but you always do your best and try to get the best out of the auto".
Once the main teams emerged, Vettel was soon quickest for Ferrari before swapping fastest laps with Raikkonen as the Mercedes men struggled to keep pace. "We've seen this year it's very close between the three teams and the six drivers so we'll see, but for sure if you start on pole you want to win".