The seven-time world champion’s wait to become F1’s first ever pole centurion was made to go on after Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas pipped him to the fastest time in Q3 by just 0.007s.

Hamilton had set a lap that was 0.4s quicker than Bottas’ pole time in the second part of qualifying, but when it mattered in the Q3 shootout he came out second best.

“It was a difficult session,” Hamilton acknowledged.

“I think for everyone, it’s not that easy here, particularly as it is windy and quite slippery on this surface so it was challenging for everyone.

“Quite a messy session for me really. Q1 wasn’t good, Q2 I only had one good lap and I would say in the whole session, I only had one good lap,

“Q3 was pretty poor. Valtteri did a great job in the conditions we’re in.”

Mercedes and Red Bull opted for different strategies for the final runs of Q3 as Bottas and Hamilton ran on Mediums - mirroring their Q2 attempts - while Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez were on Softs.

After neither Mercedes driver was able to improve on their final flying laps in the low-grip conditions, Hamilton conceded it was probably the wrong decision.

“It probably wasn’t the right decision at the end,” he said.

“It was just tricky out there, you saw us doing multiple laps. The tyres are too hard here, so they don’t work really well with the surface so we have to do extra laps to get temperature in.

“At the end I just didn’t have great grip, so didn’t do the greatest job.”