Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says some “really sexy laps” allowed him to bag the 50th pole position of his F1 career in Australia.
Hamilton dominated qualifying at Melbourne's Albert Park, setting the pace in all three sessions and in the end he was the only man to break the 1 minute 24 second barrier, posting a 1m 23.837s lap to leave him 0.360s up on team-mate, Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton now joins an elite group, as only Michael Schumacher and the late Ayrton Senna have also taken 50 or more pole positions.
“I really have to take my hat off to this team, what they've done to raise the bar once more it inspires me and motivates me,” said Hamilton, who is looking to secure his third Drivers' title in a row this season and the fourth of his career.
“I enjoyed driving the car today, got the set-up right, it was just flowing with no mistakes, really sexy laps – it's what you really hope for as a driver.
“I'm very happy.”
Hamilton also added that the shambolic new elimination style format made no real difference to him.
“The new format didn't change anything for me. It was just a bit more pressure as a team, as we operated, but we did our normal term of doing the laps. Today I had a beautiful rhythm and was just brimming at the end of the laps,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, looking to the race, Hamilton said he will have to do his homework in light of rule changes over the winter reducing radio traffic communication between drivers and teams.
“I've been very calm all weekend but there's a lot of work to do tonight. With no radio communications there will be a lot more studying tonight, in terms of remembering sequences, we have to understand about the strategies, because the team won't be able to tell us if they want to change the strategy, so we have to anticipate those changes,” he explained.
“If they give us a different tyre than what was planned we have to guess if we're on for two or three stops, but I'm excited by this new format. It's a new thing. I hope it will add to the spectacle tomorrow but I highly doubt it will… but we shall see.”