Silverstone, United Kingdom—Lewis Hamilton admitted his recovery on Saturday (Sunday Philippine time) from a spin to claim a record-smashing pole position for the British Grand Prix had been his “hardest turnaround”.
The six-time world champion had struggled to match his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in final practice and the first two parts of qualifying at Silverstone.
He recovered from a rare spin in Q2, which required him to then put in a necessary lap to proceed to Q3 where, after a personal re-boot, he found the pace for his seventh pole at the English circuit.
“It wasn’t a nice qualifying for me until then,” he said.
“I had inconsistency with the balance of the car and I was struggling.
“I got into Q2 and then I had that big snap and spin, my first for some time. Luckily, the tires were fine and I went out on another fresh set. After that I just had to compose myself again.
“It was probably the hardest turnaround I’d say—Valtteri had been putting in quick lap after quick lap so to go into Q3 with a re-set, mentally, and then put in those two laps. Now, I feel great.”
Hamilton said he expected Bottas to continue reducing his lap times in Q3 and knew he was under pressure.
“I had that horrible spin and I felt like the car was worse that it was before we made some changes ahead of qualifying and lap by lap Valtteri was stepping it up.
“I got one clean lap and then a better one. The pole lap wasn’t perfect, but it was 99 per cent—it was pretty sweet.”
Hamilton smashed the track record twice to grab a record seventh British Grand Prix pole position with a stunning performance in a tense qualifying session.
Hamilton seeks a record-increasing seventh Silverstone victory, finished ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by more than three-tenths of a second after the Finn had been fastest in final practice and then again in both Q2 and Q3 when he also set lap records.
The defending six-time champion and current series leader bounced back from a ragged performance, including a spin, in the first parts of qualifying to claim his 65th pole with Mercedes and the record-increasing 91st of his career.
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