Lewis Hamilton has revealed overnight changes made to his Mercedes Formula 1 car helped him pip teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton topped final practice and led every session of qualifying on his way to claiming his 92nd career pole at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as Mercedes once again comprehensively locked out the front-row.

The six-times world champion ultimately beat Bottas to pole by just 0.059s, a slim qualifying defeat the Finn conceded was “annoying”.

“It’s definitely been a good Saturday, I’m smiling under this [face mask],” Hamilton said.

“It’s been a really big challenge this weekend, I think for us all, the physical demands of this track as we’re faster than ever before, but more so just managing these tyres with this temperatures.

“It’s very, very hot out there and as you can see different people trying different things on the out lap. And also there’s a little bit of a gust always in the afternoon here in Barcelona so it makes it a tricky session.

“But overnight we made some really good changes and progressed forwards rather than backwards, which is always a good thing.

“I’ve been here, obviously with the guys, till 10pm last night, looking over all the details, how can we improve, what are the areas for the race that we could get better, because these Red Bulls are super fast.”

Hamilton said he was grateful to seal pole despite a “very poor’ lap during his second and final run in Q3.

“I think each first lap was strong, which I was really happy with,” he explaiend.

“The one in Q3 was solid but I felt like I could improve. I wasn’t able to do it on the second lap but fortunately neither did the strong dude next to me.

“I think he is keeping me honest, it’s very close between us, so every millisecond counts. But I am incredibly grateful to the guys for continuing to push as it is not easy to do weekend in, weekend out.

“I’m constantly impressed by their open-mindedness and the things we’re doing.”

Despite Mercedes’ latest dominant showing in qualifying, Hamilton is anticipating a much closer battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in Sunday’s race, given his impressive long run pace during Friday practice.

“Tomorrow is going to be tough when we get to the race, as the scenario is different,” he said.

“I think over a single lap we seem to have the edge over the RBs but I think this weekend we’re pretty much on par when it comes to race pace, so it’s going to be a tough battle with Max tomorrow.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...