Hamilton produced another special qualifying lap in Barcelona to clinch his second pole position of the season as he pipped 2021 title rival Verstappen by just 0.036s in Q3.

It was a result that saw Hamilton become F1’s first-ever pole centurion and the seven-time world champion admitted after qualifying that he was struggling to comprehend the scale of his achievement.

“I don’t really feel like I can compute it right now, it’s a huge number,” Hamilton said.

“It’s difficult to say really. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. But I’m excited that it was so close and it felt amazing.

“Qualifying is so special when you come across that line and you find out that you are just ahead, and you think ‘okay, how am I going to squeeze out more, will the other guys find a tenth or two or three on the next run, or not at all?’ It’s nerve-wrecking.

“It’s such a big number that it’s hard to express just how amazing and crazy it is.”

Hamilton paid tribute to the work of his team back at the factory for helping him reach the landmark, with the Briton recording a remarkable 74 poles since joining Mercedes in 2013.

“I can’t believe that we’re at 100,” he added. “Really it’s down to the men and women that are back at the factory that are continuously raising the bar and just never giving up. The support that I have, it’s been a dream for me to work with these guys.

“The journey that we’ve been on has been immense. Who would have thought in 2013 or 2012 when we made the decision to partner that we would be qualifying at 100. So feel very humble, very grateful and I’m ecstatic like it’s my first.”

“I’ll always remember that one.”