Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was delighted to finally put a good lap of the Bahrain International Circuit together, especially as it landed him a 51st career pole position on a weekend when Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg appeared to have the upper hand.
The German had topped both Friday practice sessions, and headed Hamilton behind the two Ferraris in Saturday's session, before seemingly having the edge again through the early phases of qualifying. When the reigning world champion messed up the final corner on his first attempt in Q3, it looked like he may have to settle for second at best - and the second row at worst - but he turned the tables on his rivals with a stellar final effort that saw him leap from fourth to first.
When Rosberg was unable to improve enough to address the gap between the two Silver Arrows, Hamilton secured his second pole of the season, but admitted that it was fortunate that his best effort had come at just the right time.
"I'm just really happy with that lap, so happy with that lap, because, throughout qualifying, throughout practice, you go around, doing the lap and it wasn't quite perfect," he enthused, "Nico was ahead by a tenth or whatever it may be, so to finally actually put it all together…"
"It's not been a smooth sailing weekend in terms of pure pace - Nico has been on it all weekend and I've been just generally struggling to put laps together. Luckily, the one lap I did put together was the last one - the only lap all weekend that I've put together."
The Briton's 1m 29.493secs effort was not only good enough for top spot, but was also the quickest lap yet seen at BIC.
"It's quite incredible to think that we're quicker now than the V10 days," Hamilton noted, "It just shows how much improvement, how far the technology, has come. It was actually more of a pressured lap because, the lap before, I'd gone off so [I started] knowing I had to improve even more..."
Hamilton, of course, had pole position in Melbourne two weeks ago, but came out of the first lap in seventh place, while the Ferraris of Vettel and Raikkonen led despite starting behind the front row. It is a scenario that the Briton acknowledges could happen again…
"It's always important to get a good start and there's a longer run down to turn one here than there was at the last race," he noted, "It's something we've been trying to improve on, but it's only been two weeks since the last race so, whether or not we've made big improvements, I doubt it, but hopefully it's better then it was - on my side at least."
With three tyre compounds to choose from at each race weekend this season, there is more that the drivers can try to improve their lot on race day, but Hamilton admits that his fortunes - and those of his team-mate - remain firmly in the team's hands, despite occasions in 2015 when he tried to go 'off plan'.
"It's not like we get any options [on strategy]," he smiled, "There's optimal and sub-optimal and there's worse... The team choose the optimal, they do all the simulations and know what's best, so… Of course, you could ask for something different, but our strategist is incredibly smart - as all strategists in all the teams will be - so we'll follow their direction."
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