9 May 2014
Spanish F1 Grand Prix: Hamilton targets Spanish pole after ‘smooth’ Friday
Lewis Hamilton is aiming for a fourth F1 pole position in five races after enjoying a perfect opening to the Spanish Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton has said that he intends to add another pole position to the three he has already garnered in 2014 when qualifying gets underway at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Mercedes driver, who became the most successful British qualifier in grand prix history when he led the grid in China three weeks ago, was buoyed by a successful opening day at the Circuit de Catalunya, where he comfortably topped both free practice sessions. His margin over team-mate Nico Rosberg at the end of the day was fully four-tenths of a second, and Hamilton admitted that it had been some time since an opening day had gone that well.
“It's going really well,” he smiled, “We're just getting back into it after a long break, so to get back into the car and feel that positive step forward for the team…. a big thank you to everyone back at the factory for all their hard work. I'm sure I'll go back and analyse some things, find where I can improve because there's always places to do that, but today has just been a smooth day, and I've not had a Friday like this for a long time.”
Revealing that adapting to the track temperatures had been his biggest issue, Hamilton reported that the rechristened W05 Hybrid had improved between sessions, and was looking good for another shot at pole.
“Today was really about seeing how long the tyres would last,” he explained, “It felt pretty bad this morning but, this afternoon, we made some changes and it felt pretty good and I was pleasantly surprised. In the past, we've have a bad FP2 that doesn't go so well, but the race has been better, but today, FP2 has gone well, so I'm hoping for even more of a pleasant race.”
Even without the benefit of a pre-season test in Barcelona, the teams know what to expect from the first European race of the year, and Hamilton acknowledged that it was key to start from the front of the grid.
“I think, with the pace we have, it is always important to have pole position,” he stressed, “It's very difficult to overtake here - when you were following backmarkers out there today, it was very difficult to get past people - so position is everything. I'll do everything I can to get myself as high as possible for the race.”
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