Lewis Hamilton claimed that he had produced the two best laps of his Spa-Francorchamps weekend so far as blitzed his way to a tenth pole position of the season.
The Briton was indomitable in the third and final phase of qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix, twice putting up a lap time that Mercedes team-mate, and title rival, Nico Rosberg could only get within four-tenths of. Having claimed the upper hand with his first run in Q3, the Briton extended the margin before Rosberg restored the original gap as he crossed the line under the chequered flag.
“I'm just happy with today – my goal was to get pole position and although, in qualifying, Nico was very close, my last two laps were the best two laps I've had all weekend,” Hamilton confirmed, “This is a circuit that, if you can get the right balance, is definitely one of the most fun to drive.”
While Rosberg paced Friday, Hamilton held the best splits for the second sector, and admitted that nailing the middle part of the lap throughout practice and qualifying had played a big part in claiming the pole position trophy for 2015 as he took his advantage over the German to 10-1 on Saturdays.
“Sector two has, in the past, been a bit of a weak point – I know all the lines but could never really put the corners together,” he explained, “But, definitely, on those two laps, it was a very strong area for me….”
As usual, the Briton was quick to point out that getting pole was only part of the task he faced this weekend, with Spa posing especially tough questions in the race.
“Of course, I'm very conscious that pole position is a great thing to have, but it's a long race - and a long, long stretch down to turn five,” Hamilton explained, before turning his attention to the added factor of a new start procedure, introduced to the regulations this weekend.
“The team has done a lot of analysis [regarding starts] and I've been in the factory practicing on the simulator. All this weekend, we've been working on it too, so we're as prepared as we can possibly be and I think we feel relatively good about. It should be the same for everyone and I hope that is good for us, but also provides an exciting start for the fans to watch.”