Lewis Hamilton says his pole position in the Spanish Grand Prix comes at a 'crucial' time for him as he bids to claw back ground over his Mercedes team-mate in the overall standings.
Having failed to complete qualifying in China and Russia, Hamilton enjoyed a welcome trouble-free afternoon around the Circuit de Catalunya as he powered to his third pole position of the season, more than two tenths clear of Rosberg.
Coming after Rosberg appeared to have the upper hand in free practice, Hamilton's aggressive last lap in Q3 – having made an error on his first run – gives him the best opportunity to get back to winning ways and close down a 43 point margin from the German.
Pleased to have turned his fortunes around after a 'difficult day' on Friday, Hamilton feels it was 'crucial' to get the better of his team-mate from such a position.
“I'm very, very happy,” he said. “Getting the lap, obviously Nico has been very strong all weekend so it was crucial. Bit-by-bit, stepping stones, one step at a time I've been trying to bring the pace together.
“It's three out of three for me, so I'm pretty happy. Obviously I didn't get to compete in the last two qualifying sessions so very, very happy with it. The car was great, yesterday was a bit of a difficult day so to be able to start on the right foot today is a real blessing.”
Hamilton also took the time to praise the Mercedes team for its efforts in attempting to find and cure the issues that afflicted him in the previous two races, even if he admits there is no guarantee it has worked.
“I want to say thank you to my team, all the guys back at the factory for working so hard the last two weeks to really try and rectify the issues we've had,” he continued.
“We obviously came with some small upgrades, the car is continually improving. I've got an improved turbo for this week which was probably coming a race or two away. I just know everyone was working hard. Whether we've actually rectified and fixed everything we will find out, but one thing I definitely know is the guys were working flat out.
“Everyone was feeling the pain of the last couple of races with the faults so I'm just grateful to them for putting the work in. Hopefully this weekend and moving forwards we will see the results of that.”