He said: "I have been training, keeping my head down, staying focused and staying quiet and making sure I came here healthy and strong so we can fight".
But though Hamilton had set the pace in the first two practice sessions on Friday and again in the first qualifying session, after brake problems in this morning's final practice, he admitted that he just didn't get his vehicle as hooked up when he went back on to the ultrasofts for that final crucial session.
Lewis Hamilton delivered an emphatic signal of his intent when he completed a Friday double by topping the times for Mercedes in both practice sessions for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix. Then Vettel beat them with a 1:05.384. I got it set up nicely and it's great to get the second pole position of my career.
Bottas said that trying to slow Vettel down would risk Mercedes losing the race. "I have the supersoft tyre for tomorrow but maybe it can go longer, we will see". Hamilton was third but given his 5 place grid penalty, the Brit will start from P8 tomorrow.
Sebastian Vettel was happy to qualify second - critically ahead of his championship rival Hamilton and perhaps too because Ferrari appeared to be lagging behind Mercedes in recent races, particularly in qualifying.
"Not quick enough but I was happy, the vehicle was really good", said Vettel after missing out on a 48th career pole.
Bottas, who is third overall and 28 points behind Hamilton, said the Mercedes pre-race strategy notes did not envisage any action on his part to help Hamilton.
"The lap was not quick enough, but I was very happy", Vettel added. He did a fantastic job and has been driving very well all weekend and obviously Sebastian is very quick this weekend. Nothing changes at all if I'm honest. "The track felt pretty good from the get go".
Shocker: On a track where Williams locked out the front row in 2014, Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll had to settle for 17th and 18th on Saturday.