Hamilton is surprised by the gap between him and Verstappen

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton admits he didn’t expect the gap between him and Max Verstappen to be as big as it was at Qatar Grand Prix Qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton qualified 0.455s ahead of Max Verstappen for the Qatar Grand Prix. After qualifying the Briton was understandably overjoyed.

“It was really beautiful out there today, especially under the night lights,” he said.

“I didn’t know that I was going to gain as much as time as I did on that last lap. Normally it’s a bit of a struggle with the second run in Q3, but the last couple of races, I managed to really put a nice clean lap together, and it felt amazing.”

When asked, Lewis said he was surprised by the size of the gap between him and Verstappen.

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“Of course [I’m surprised]. The same as in the last race. Probably the last three races in qualifying we’ve been ahead of them, which has been a bit of a surprise and today I definitely wasn’t expecting to have as big a gap as that.

“I was relatively comfortable with around a tenth or so ahead through most of the session, but to be able to pull out that extra bit of time – that felt great.”

Despite this advantage, the Briton expects their performance will be more even in the race.

“We always end up getting closer, our pace closes up to each other when it comes to race pace. I think the car’s in a good place [and it’s] a difficult circuit to follow.”

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