Lewis Hamilton’s final lap in today’s Styrian Grand Prix qualifying that put him 1.2 seconds ahead of second placed Max Verstappen will be remembered among the Briton’s finest drives.
“It was a fantastic lap, the last one,” said Hamilton at the post qualifying press conference.
“I think [it was] just the importance of managing your time out there, managing your battery pack, knowing when to use the few laps that you have on the qualifying modes, creating the gap, [and] not making a mistake when it counts.
“That last lap for me was really as close to perfect as I could really get in those conditions.
“Considering it was raining more, it makes me even happier knowing that we could go a bit quicker during that time.
“It definitely takes me back to times like Silverstone 2008, because when you’re really at one with the car and not fazed at all, and just being very dynamic with your driving style from corner to corner.
“The wet patches arrive, and the puddles are shifting about with the cars that are driving ahead of you, which is a massive challenge.
“It was the worst conditions that we could probably get these cars around in. It was an incredible challenge.
“I’m grateful that we got to do qualifying, as we missed the morning session. It’s a real challenge I think for everyone.
“Visibility was very, very minimal, and just making sure you got the gap and putting the laps together when it counted was really the key.
“But the team did a great job in terms of the position and the information I was getting. I felt pretty much at home today in the rain.”
Hamilton was asked if he thought qualifying should have gone on given the dangerous conditions on the track.
“The officials definitely have a difficult job the majority of the time, particularly on a day like this knowing when to go and when not to let the cars run.
“I’m grateful they did. Just as we came to qualifying, it was drying up or wasn’t raining for a while, and just as everyone got in the car it started to rain again.
“We obviously had that pause, but once we got going, it was fine for the first session, then it did get worse. It was definitely on the limit, but that’s racing.
“I’m glad they didn’t take that away from us, because today, it’s so special being out there, it’s so difficult. I don’t know how it comes across on the cameras, but it is the hardest conditions that we ever drive in.
“Just one small lapse of concentration and you’re off, it can be big or small, more chance of it being a big one,” concluded Hamilton.