Bottas’ team-mate Lewis Hamilton early set a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, championship challenger Sebastian Vettel finished 0.042 seconds behind in second place, while Hamilton qualified third, meaning he will start the race eighth on Sunday after his penalty.
Kimi Raikkonen will start behind Ferrari team-mate Vettel in third and will share the second row with Azerbaijan race-winner Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull’s home race. Max Verstappen is fifth while Romain Grosjean will start sixth for Haas.
Hamilton will slot in in eighth ahead of the Force India duo of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.
Valtteri Bottas on taking pole: “It feels good. I really enjoy driving here. I enjoyed it today the car was getting better and better as the grip was coming.
“A decent lap at the end, it wasn’t perfect, but it was enough.”
Niki Lauda on the qualifying session for Mercedes: “Good and bad. Bottas on pole which was deserved. Vettel is second which is not bad.
“Lewis was troubled. For tomorrow he’s eighth so he has to do a good job and work harder than normal.
“We will try everything tomorrow to bring him to the front. A fantastic result from Valtteri, everything perfect.”
Fernando Alonso beat McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne to 12th despite the latter running with a newer specification of the beleaguered Honda engine.