Motorsport 12 months ago

F1: Hamilton thrilled to be back on pole

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton delivered what can only be described as a pretty awesome lap in Saturday afternoon’s all important qualifying session at the Sepang International Circuit to secure what was the 57th pole position of his career and the fourth at the Malaysian.

The reigning world champion set the fastest time in all three parts of qualifying and took pole by a big margin - and all without completing his final run. He has been on point from the first laps of the weekend and, without any reliability problems, he's got the job done.

“It feels great. I'm incredibly grateful for the car being where it is. The guys have done a great job for us to have such performance this weekend. To be able to extract it from the car is the thing I'm really happy about. It's been night and day in comparison to Singapore,” Lewis said.

“Of the laps I had there, I only really got a few of them together. Here, though, we've had lots of mileage, I've been able to build through the sessions and I felt really comfortable in the car. Again, great work from the guys in the garage - just like they have been doing all year.”

“My final qualifying lap was the first lockup I'd had all weekend into Turn One, so there was more time out there. It's a shame I didn't get to show it but I still got pole and it's looking good for tomorrow. I've been here since last Saturday, so I've been able to prepare really well and I've been pretty quick all weekend.”

Looking ahead to this afternoon’s race he will need to keep the ball flat and focus on the job so that he gets a decent start and doesn’t bog down like he has done on several occasions so far this season.  It will be a challenging race with his main rivals very close on long run pace. Strategy will be important and so will avoiding mistakes in the challenging conditions. He has hit his first target for the weekend but the big one is still to come.

“I've had incredible support ever since I arrived here in Malaysia from the people here - and from everyone else around the world too, as always. I want this just as badly as they do, so hopefully we'll see it through. It's too soon to say how the race will go. When I'm on top of it like I have been this weekend, it generally goes my way on a Sunday. Let's hope that pattern continues.”

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