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Lewis Hamilton says it is satisfying to have claimed such a dominant pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix having feared he didn't have the performance to challenge following a lacklustre Friday showing.

The Briton complained he was struggling to get pace from the tyres, an issue he suffered in Monaco and Sochi, en route to tenth quickest in FP2, but after showing an upturn in pace during FP3 he was on scintillating form when it mattered in qualifying.

Engaging in a battle for pole with team-mate Valtteri Bottas as Ferrari faded, Hamilton's second and final lap following a brief red flag period would see him stop the clock at an outstanding 1min 40.593, a full half second quicker than his team and a second up on Ferrari.

A rapid turnaround in form for the three-time champion, he says that coupled to the margin to his rivals gives him particular pleasure for this pole.

"I wouldn't say I was surprised by the lap time I mean I haven't really thought of what we could do here but I'd say definitely yesterday we were at a bit of a loss in the sense that we started in the wrong place and we had to make some changes overnight

"So to come in this morning not really knowing if those changes were going to be right, I know I've got full confidence with the team but still it's very difficult with the tyres to switch them on and off.

"The changes and the guys did fantastic work since last night and we made fantastic gains with the car and went in the right direction and it just progresses from there to P3 into qualifying.

"There was a lot of pressure went into getting that last run in with only a minute left basically and all weekend not being able to do one lap for us, but some others had, but it was all or nothing so had to give it everything I had. Valtteri was just ahead of me in the circuit, I could see he was on a great lap as well, so I came across the line so happy because even if I got second it would've been awesome for one single lap, which I'm really proud of.

Lifting Hamilton past Ayrton Senna on the tally of career pole position, it means he remains on course to match Michael Schumacher's record tally at the British Grand Prix next month.

"It's already an amazing thing to have matched him and the crazy thing is that the hunger for another pole is... I thought may be once I matched him may be it will fade but I was hungrier than ever today, even more hungry than before.

"So that's a good thing and I'm grateful for that because that's what drives me so hopefully I continue to grow and get better as a driver and as a human being. That's the goal everyday."

 

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