Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he thought he had lost pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix after he spun at the end of Q3.

Hamilton had posted a 1 minute 08.455 second lap on his first runs in the top-ten shootout, leaving him two tenths up on team-mate, Nico Rosberg, but was then pushing on his second run, when he spun under braking for Turn 1.

"I was grateful that I got my third lap in on the first run in Q3. I was then pushing for that bit extra in the next run and just locked the rears," Hamilton confirmed.

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"I wasn't too particularly concerned with that [losing pole position] at the time [I spun]. I was just trying to get the car going and look after the car. That was the most concerning thing for me. Obviously I had been backward and I was already in seventh gear or something like that and standing still. So, I was trying to look after that, but naturally afterwards, I thought: 'I have probably lost it there'."

Hamilton has struggled to match Rosberg all weekend at the Red Bull Ring and conceded that he wasn't happy with his Mercedes.

"It was really quite a bad qualifying session for me all round," he continued after taking the 45th pole of his career, something that puts him level with Sebastian Vettel on the all-time list, behind only Ayrton Senna (65) and Michael Schumacher (68).

"I was off Nico three or four tenths in each session, each run, each lap. I just didn't have the confidence in the balance I had and the temperatures of the tyres and the brakes.

"[As I said] I am just really grateful I got those two laps in [in the first part of Q3] and then coming to the end, I don't really know exactly what went on, but obviously I lost the rear and snapped it round."

Meanwhile, Hamilton is expecting a tough fight tomorrow in the race: "Ferrari have really shown some great pace this weekend, as have Williams, so tomorrow is going to be a tough race.

"I don't think the tyres are going to be much of a problem for everyone, but every little bit of time will count tomorrow."