Hamilton took pole, ahead of his team-mate Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes front row lockout. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took seventh place, with a 1.4 second gap to Hamilton. The Briton is very happy with today’s result.
“Valtteri doesn’t make it easy for me at all, so it requires absolute perfection doing laps, and qualifying like that is something I enjoy the most,” said Hamilton right after taking his 90th career pole position, which also prompted his to acknowledge: “I have to pinch myself, it just doesn’t register.”
Despite a dominant performance, the Briton says driving the Mercedes W11 was not as easy as it might have looked.
“She’s definitely not on rails. I’m sure it looks like that maybe, compared to some other people, but it was really nicely hooked up today, and not far off the rails.”
Still, Lewis admits tomorrow’s race will be challenging.
“It’s a long run down to turn one. Nothing’s a given here, so we’ve just got to do the work this evening, and ultimately I’ve got to deliver at the start tomorrow. It is quite a long race.
“We don’t know what this weather is going to do for us tomorrow, but I’ll have my head down and will be focusing as hard as I can to bring a one-two home for the team.”
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When informed of Red Bull’s 1.4s gap in quali, the Briton was surprised.
“Ow wow! I didn’t know that was the case. That is a really big gap. I definitely wasn’t expecting them to be as off as they have been this weekend.
“You saw the pace from them last year. This is not a power circuit, this is more about the car, the mechanical grip, and aero package. I thought they had a better package than today’s result showed.
“But I don’t know if they all had great laps. Either way, that’s a big, big gap.”