Lewis Hamilton says he had to “dig deeper than ever” to snatch a last-gasp pole position for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion had trailed Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by nearly three-tenths after the opening runs in Q3, but turned in a 1m10.166s on his final flying effort to pip Bottas by just 0.086s and deny him a fourth straight pole.

It marked just the second time Hamilton has taken pole in Monaco and the Briton said he felt “amazing” following a lap he described as “beautiful”.

“This is the race that every driver dreams of as a kid,” Hamilton said.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you come here, it’s still a dream and you still give it everything you’ve got.

“All the guys have worked tirelessly, back at the factory so we’ve arrived with a great car. It was a great battle with Valtteri. He’s been quick all weekend and all races up to now.

“Just the desire and the will to get this pole - it means so much to me,” he added.

“I had to dig deeper than ever. So glad I can get that deep. That lap was beautiful. I feel amazing.”

Hamilton said he had to take his car to the limit in order to secure his second pole of the season and the 85th of his career.

“We have a great package, what people need to realise, all of us drivers, we take whatever car we have, fast or slow, we take it to limit,” he explained.

“When you hit the limit, it’s like wrestling a bull, or whatever you want to say it is, it’s out of control the whole time, so it’s trying to balance it and react at the right times.

“That lap was hard, I had a oversteer moment at Rasscasse and I just managed to pull it off.

“I lost a bit in the last corner, but still I was coming across the line hoping that one millisecond, hope it makes a difference. I don’t know what the gap is but I’ll take it. It’s perfect.”

 

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