Lewis Hamilton claimed his 72nd career pole position as he sets a new track record at the Circuit of The Americas – his second pole position at this track and 11th of the 2017 season. Valtteri Bottas will start tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix from P3 on the grid. Today’s result marks the 13th pole position of the 2017 season for the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows. Today’s pole position marks Lewis’ 117th front-row start which is a new all-time record in Formula One. Both drivers completed one run on the SuperSoft compound tyres in Q1, then two runs on the UltraSofts in both Q2 and Q3.
The team have done an exceptional job all weekend to filter the data that we have gathered and put the car in the right place. This is such a fantastic circuit – it’s really challenging, you’re constantly dancing with the car. I’m really happy to be on pole, but we know we’re often strong through practice and qualifying and have found the races tougher this year. I’m looking forward to a nice race tomorrow with Sebastian and Valtteri. This is a track where you can follow and overtake. I remember the race in 2012 when I passed Sebastian for the win – I hope he’s not that close tomorrow, but let’s see.
It was quite a tricky session; each lap was different because of the wind. Otherwise, it was a pretty straightforward day. We’ve made quite a few set-up changes over the weekend as we work to make the car quicker. There were no big mistakes; I was just lacking that extra bit of pace. I was losing most of the time in the last sector, but that’s not a big surprise as that’s where the slow-speed corners and technical sections are. However, anything is still possible tomorrow. Our race pace looked promising, so it should be a good fight. Three teams can win tomorrow, so we really need to give it everything we’ve got.
That was an unusual end to the qualifying session, with neither driver improving on the final run, but we must be very happy with that pole position. Lewis has been faultless in the past few races and this was another great lap – it’s a strong circuit for him and he has enjoyed a healthy advantage all weekend. Valtteri made good progress with the car overnight and was much closer in qualifying than yesterday in practice; but he couldn’t make another step on the final lap, so was beaten to the front row by Vettel. This just shows the fine margins that we are working with when it comes to putting every piece of the puzzle together. However, P1 and P3 are very good starting positions to have a strong race tomorrow.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1 Motorsport