Lewis Hamilton says he had to work “really hard” to claim pole position for Formula 1’s Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello.

Hamilton trailed his Mercedes teammate Bottas through all three practice sessions but beat the Finn to pole in the end by just 0.059s in qualifying.

The Briton admitted he had time still to find around parts of the Mugello Circuit after ending Friday practice well adrift of his teammate, but he turned things around when it mattered most to score the 95th pole of his career.

Hamilton has now taken seven poles in nine races so far in the 2020 season.

"It has been really close this weekend,” Hamilton said after qualifying.

“This is a really challenging circuit and Valtteri was quicker than me all day yesterday and this morning and even in Q1.

"I have been working really hard in the background to improve on my lines and set-up and I finally got the lap I needed.

"At the end, I think the wind picked up and I wasn't able to go any quicker. But I got the job done.

"It's crazy. You go through Turns Six, Seven, Eight and Nine at 180mph and the G-force is insane."

Bottas’ hopes of ending Hamilton’s run of dominance in qualifying this year were dashed when Esteban Ocon spun his Renault into the gravel and brought out yellow flags.

The caution flags meant Bottas was forced to back out in the first sector of his final flying lap in Q3 and was subsequently unable to improve his time.

 

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