Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he feels incredibly “proud” and “honoured” to have equalled Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio after taking his fifth Italian Grand Prix pole position.
Hamilton dominated qualifying at Monza, posting a 1 minute 21.135 second lap in the top-ten shootout to leave him almost half a second up on team-mate, Nico Rosberg, while Sebastian Vettel was 0.359secs further adrift in P3 in his Ferrari.
Asked about his emotions after matching Senna and Fangio, Hamilton replied: “Obviously very happy today. I was only made aware of that record as I came into this weekend. So, of course that was in the back of my mind, but hoping that it wouldn't steer me off course.
“I feel incredibly proud and honoured to be up amongst Senna and Juan Manuel. Incredible drivers and I never in a million years thought my name would be mentioned in the same sentence as theirs.
“So very proud of that.”
BELGIAN GP QUALIFYING REPORT: Hamilton secures dominant pole
Hamilton also added that he has felt confident all weekend and again reiterated how fortunate he feels to be with Mercedes.
“I have a very strong feeling and came with my 'A' game today and particularly that last lap, it felt incredible,” he continued after taking his 56th career pole and his third in a row at Monza.
“It is such a great track and it has got such a great crowd. A big thank-you to all the people that have come out, but what this team has achieved, as race by race I continue to say, is just phenomenal.
“We are so fortunate to be driving for this team and to be representing them and to be driving a car as [good as] it was today. I got it right in the sweet spot and was able to do an exceptional time with it.”
RESULTS: Belgian Grand Prix – Qualifying results
Meanwhile, Hamilton played down the lock-up in Q2, set on his best lap, and therefore on the tyres he will have to start the race on.
“I didn't really damage the tyres,” he insisted. “I just had a small lock-up into Turn 1 and ultimately for the race tomorrow, you want everything to be perfect.
“I had the pace and so went back out and I was actually up, but I just lost it in the last corner. But the flat spot is minimal, you can't really feel it. I don't think it is going to be a problem [in tomorrow's race].”
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