Lewis Hamilton achieves milestone of 100 career poles by 0.036s with stunning lap. Valtteri Bottas claims a strong P3, with just over a tenth separating the top three. The two Mercedes will start on the clean side of the track on the Soft compound tyre. Today marked the 129th pole position for Mercedes in Formula One, overtaking Williams as the third most successful team for pole positions.
I was behind the whole way through qualifying and making small tweaks to find pace. I just can’t believe we’re at 100 – it’s down to the women and men back at the factory who are continuously raising the bar and never giving up. It’s a dream to work with them, what a journey! Who would have thought when we started out together at the end of 2012 that we’d be celebrating 100 poles!? I feel so humbled and very grateful for all their work. It feels just like my first! I’ll always remember that one.
That was close! It felt like I was there in the battle for the pole but I lost a tenth or so with a snap at Turn 10, and those are the fine margins this year. We’ve got a strong package and we’ll be in the fight tomorrow no doubt – it will be another close one between us and Red Bull. If you can keep the tyres in good condition, you’re going to be more competitive around the pit stops. There’s the possibility to mix the strategy and try a one or a two-stop. We’ll do lots of work tonight and you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to know our strategy.
I’m not one for statistics but 100 pole positions is a pretty impressive milestone! I told Lewis on the radio that it was quite an okay lap, but of course it was a little bit more than that. It looked like Max and Red Bull had a big advantage in Q2, but we kept chipping away at it and in the end, the top three drivers were covered by a tenth of a second; exactly how we want it to be in F1, battling for every thousandth of a second. Both Lewis and Valtteri did a fantastic job in those final laps, and when it’s such tiny margins, every detail makes a difference. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we have the advantage of two cars on the clean side of the grid, and both drivers in the top three; that will provide us a strategic opportunity, and we need to make the most of it for the race.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1