Tag Archives: pole

Lewis Hamilton has British Grand Prix sprint regret after Max Verstappen secures pole

Lewis Hamilton says he wishes he could ‘redo the start’ of Saturday’s sprint race after Max Verstappen secured pole position for Sunday’s British Grand Prix after victory during a historic inaugural qualifying race at Silverstone.

Verstappen jumped Hamilton at the start of the race with better drive off the line, despite the Dutchman’s front left brakes catching on fire while waiting for the lights to go out in front of the Briton’s home crowd.

However, despite Hamilton’s fight back, the championship leader gradually pulled out a comfortable lead from the 36-year-old, as he commanded the race and managed to pick up three important championship points, extending his lead to 33, and will now start on pole for the British Grand Prix.

The Briton was heard on the radio asking for more power from the team on lap 12, as he tried to claw back any time on the Red Bull driver, with blistering reported on Verstappen’s tyres.

But it wasn’t enough, and Verstappen extended his lead with victory on Saturday, with Hamilton finishing second, with two points added to his total, with his team-mate Bottas picking up a point from third.

JUST IN: Lewis Hamilton warns Red Bull he’s going to ‘bring out the lion’

“I gave it everything today,” said Hamilton straight after the race. “First I’m gonna give a lot of love to all these fans, I can’t tell you the energy that I’m getting from everyone, that support means the world to me so I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get the win in sprint one but tomorrow we fight again.

“I hit target on my start, it’s not good what you lose from P1, but, we’ll try and try and turn negative into a positive tomorrow

“Every point counts, but I’m grateful to finish, they’re just so strong in the race, as he was pulling away there was nothing I could do to hold on to him.

“So we’ve really got to try and be in front somehow they’ve done a great job with their engine, their starts are really great, we’ve lost a bit of performance on our stuff so we’ve got to work a bit harder to try and improve that because losing positions is never a great thing.

Toto Wolff defiant after Lewis Hamilton British GP pace 
Lewis Hamilton stuns at Silverstone as he beats Max Verstappen
Toto Wolff to decide George Russell and Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes fate

Hamilton’s poor start handed Verstappen the perfect opportunity to take the lead of the 17-lap race, and extend his lead in the championship.

“Wish I could redo the start again,” Hamilton rued. “But luckily we have tomorrow.

“I don’t know how it was to watch for the fans, I think this weekend’s been awesome, yesterday was such a fun day to have qualifying on a Friday, way more enjoyable.

“I don’t know whether that was the most exciting race or not, but we should do more like that, maybe a different version of it in future because this makes the weekend more enjoyable I think.

“But I need everyone to bring their energy again tomorrow and I’ll bring my A-game.”

Hamilton stunned on Friday in the evening’s qualifying session, beating Verstappen by just 0.075s in front of a jubilant British crowd.

It means Hamilton lined up ahead of his main title rival who started second, with Hamilton’s Bottas third.

The seven-time world champion was visibly emotional as the home crowd chanted his name, as he looks to add an eighth world title to his name this season.

Cheers echoed around Silverstone, as Hamilton climbed out of the car, with Union Jack flags fluttering in the Silverstone breeze, as the sun beamed down on the world champion, who thanked the fans for their input.

Read more
This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Sport

NASCAR at New Hampshire: Starting order, pole for Sunday’s race without qualifying

The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was set by applying the statistical formula NASCAR is using for the majority of the series’ races in 2021.

Drivers’ starting positions for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) were based on four factors:

  • Driver’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Team owner points ranking (35 percent)
  • Fastest lap from the previous race (15 percent)

NASCAR is conducting qualifying and practice for just eight Cup Series races in the 2021 season. The remaining sessions will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in August and at Phoenix for the season-ending Championship 4 race in November.

Below is the starting lineup, which was set without qualifying, for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s 1.058-mile oval.

MORE: Watch Sunday’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (free 7-day trial)

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at New Hampshire?

Kyle Busch, who has won three times at New Hampshire in the Cup Series, will be on the pole for Sunday’s race. This is his first pole win of the season. He finished second to his brother, Kurt Busch, last weekend at Atlanta and his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota team is third in the point standings after 21 races.

To his outside on the front row will be JGR teammate Martin Truex Jr., whose No. 19 team is seventh in the standings. Truex came home third at Atlanta. 

The second row will feature the Chevrolets of defending series champion Chase Elliott (third) and Kurt Busch (fourth).

Series points leader Denny Hamlin will start sixth. The driver of the JGR No. 11 car is still seeking his first win of the year. 

NASCAR starting lineup at New Hampshire

NASCAR used a mathematical formula to set the starting lineup for Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the Foxwoods Casino Resort 301. Thirty-seven cars were entered for the race.

Start pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
2 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
3 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
4 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
5 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
6 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
7 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
8 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
9 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
10 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
11 Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
12 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
13 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
14 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
15 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
16 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
17 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
18 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
19 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
20 Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
21 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
22 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
23 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
24 Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
25 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
26 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
27 Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports
28 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
29 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
30 Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
31 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing Team
32 BJ McLeod 78 Live Fast Motorsports
33 Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware Racing
34 Cody Ware 51 Petty Ware Racing
35 Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware Racing
36 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
37 James Davison 15 Rick Ware Racing

Read more
This post originally posted here usnews

Max Verstappen admits it's 'never easy' to beat Lewis Hamilton despite Styrian GP pole

Championship leader Max Verstappen says he knows it won’t be ‘easy’ to beat Lewis Hamilton after qualifying for the Styrian Grand Prix, despite snatching pole position at the Red Bull Ring, but admits it’s nice to be on top at the team’s home circuit.

The Dutchman set a blistering time of 1:03.841s around the Red Bull Ring, two tenths faster than Valtteri Bottas who set a 1:04.035s with Hamilton behind on a 1:04.067.

The Mercedes driver was quick out of the pit at the start of Q3, an unusual move for a driver in his position, but only mustered a third fastest time, behind his team-mate Bottas, who will drop to fifth after receiving a penalty in practice.

And Verstappen was pleased with his performance, with his team-mate Sergio Perez starting fourth behind Lando Norris in third.

“It’s been a very good weekend, I think, again in qualifying, of course, the car was was really good to drive,” said Verstappen.

“It was not easy to deal with the traffic in the last few corners to get a clean run but I think that first lap in Q3 was good enough at the end.

Lewis Hamilton ready for a ‘fight’ as he rues Max Verstappen’s pace

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Max Verstappen wants to 'finish off' Lewis Hamilton job as Dutchman takes French GP pole

Championship leader Max Verstappen says he’s ready to ‘finish off’ what he started in Azerbaijan after sealing pole position for the French Grand Prix. Verstappen sent Lewis Hamilton a clear warning sign ahead of the race after taking his second pole position of the season around Paul Ricard, a first ever in France for Red Bull.

The Dutchman secured his fifth career pole position after setting a 1:29.990s lap, going 0.258s faster than Hamilton in second place with Valtteri Bottas starting third in the other Mercedes.

And the Dutchman, who was on course to win in Baku last time out before a tyre blowout a few laps before the end of the race, insists he’s keen to finish off the job in Sunday’s race.

“I mean so far it’s been a really positive weekend on a track where normally it’s been a bit difficult for us,” said Verstappen.

“Yesterday FP2 was a bit of a turnaround and we just made it even better today. Of course, to get pole position was really nice.

“No points are scored today [in qualifying] but for us it’s a great day.

MUST READ: Lewis Hamilton ‘silenced the myth’ after out-qualifying Bottas

“Of course we have to finish it off tomorrow and try and get the 25 points that we lost in Baku. It’s a great performance from our side and I hope that we can keep it up.”

Verstappen, who leads the championship to Hamilton by four points, took the lead of the standings with victory in Monte Carlo earlier in the month.

And the 23-year-old said he was keen to show what he can do around a ‘normal’ circuit, rather than a street circuit.

He added: “I am actually [confident]. The car felt good yesterday in FP2 so I’m looking forward to it.”

Mercedes struggled coming into the weekend after scoring just seven points across the past two races, with Bottas not scoring a point since Spain in May.

Verstappen’s team-mate starts fourth on the grid, with Carlos Sainz rounding up the top five in the Ferrari.

Coming into the weekend, Hamilton said he was keen to silence any critics, admitting he feels ‘no pressure’ from Verstappen heading into the French Grand Prix.

Last time out, Hamilton made a rare mistake after the race had been red-flagged due to a tyre blowout from Verstappen, squandering the chance to retake the championship lead.

Lewis Hamilton responds to Max Verstappen pressure talk
George Russell sets Mercedes contract deadline
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen reflect on relationship

“Max wasn’t in the race at the time so I definitely wasn’t under pressure from him,” said Hamilton.

“I don’t even count it as a mistake and I don’t even know what the mistake before that was, but I don’t feel any pressure, I feel pretty relaxed. You can’t always be perfect.

“A mistake is when you often drive off the track after missing your braking point or a hit the wall, but it as an unforced error.

“It was something we had that was sitting there that could’ve happened at any point, and it, unfortunately, bit us pretty hard.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc has two Monaco Grand Prix concerns after taking 'surprise' pole

Charles Leclerc admits he’s concerned about the gearbox of his SF21 after crashing out in the Ferrari in the final seconds of Monaco Grand Prix qualifying, though he made sure of pole position in doing so. The Monegasque driver will front the grid in his homeland on Sunday provided he has not damaged his gearbox, which would incur a penalty.
Leclerc would drop to P6 if his gearbox were to need changing and would cancel out all the hard work the 23-year-old put in on Saturday.

His pole was his and Ferrari’s first since the 2019 Mexico Grand Prix and provided he does not take any penalties, offers him an excellent chance of a maiden race win in his home country and only the third of his career. 

But he insists he is incredibly unfortunate in Monaco and also says he’s worried about the state of his machinery, having sustained damage to the front and side of his car.

Leclerc told Sky Sports F1: “It’s a shame to finish in the wall, it doesn’t feel the same. At the same time I’m incredibly happy about my first time lap.

“The first corner was quite tricky, I didn’t do a great first corner but the second and third sectors, I nailed it. Just very, very happy to be on pole obviously.

“It was very, very difficult to manage myself mentally after Q2. I could feel I was quite emotional in the car but I told myself ‘now it’s Q3, now it’s time to put everything together.’

“I managed to do so so I’m incredibly happy. It’s tomorrow that we score points but I have to say it’s a big surprise for everyone to be on pole and in fourth place for the race tomorrow.”

Leclerc crashing out meant Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas could not beat his time, with the session abandoned.

And asked if he now has a real chance to win Sunday’s race, Leclerc said: “I’ve always been very unlucky here so let’s wait and see.”

Then quizzed about whether he’s worried about gearbox damage, the two-time race-winner admitted: “I am. But let’s see.”

Verstappen, who will start second, said: “It’s unfortunate for the red flag. I felt really comfortable building up to qualifying.

“Nobody was really putting a lap time in on the first lap and that’s how we planned it out, to do two laps then the third one was the fastest.

“The second run with the fresh laps we did I was feeling good. I was quite a bit down on my lap time so I’m gutted.

“I think we made good progress throughout the week with the car. Definitely happier with it in qualifying. We should’ve had a shot at pole in the last run.

“We’ll try anything we can tomorrow in the race. It’s Monaco, anything can happen.”

Victory for Leclerc on Sunday would only be Ferrari’s second since 2001, with their last coming via Sebastian Vettel in 2019.

The Italian team endured their worst season in 40 years last season but are looking stronger in 2021 and sit fourth in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Monaco race.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Lewis Hamilton 'ecstatic' with 100th pole position at Spanish GP – 'Feels like my first'

MercedesLewis Hamilton has become the first driver in Formula One history to reach triple figures as he stormed to his 100th career pole position ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
In a close qualifying session, which saw Max Verstappen set the second fastest time, trailing the Briton by just 0.036s, Hamilton said he was ‘ecstatic’ with his lap, claiming his record-breaking pole “felt like his first”.

The Briton’s time of 1:16.741 was enough to lead the way for Sunday’s race, overshadowing Michael Schumacher’s 68 and Ayrton Senna’s 65 poles, and Hamilton admitted it hasn’t all been straight forward this weekend.

He said: “FP3 was looking really good, I think we’ve been strong all weekend. I made some changes and I had a bit of anxiety about the changes we were potentially going to make for qualifying.”

“You’re always trying to make the car better but it’s a bit of a gamble. You’ve also got to keep the race in mind also.

Lewis Hamilton pays classy Mercedes tribute after record 100th pole

“The support I have, it’s been a dream for me to work with these guys. The journey we’ve been on has been immense.

“Who would have thought in 2013 or the end of 2012 when we made the decision to partner we’d be qualifying at 100? I feel very humble, very grateful. I’m ecstatic like it’s my first.”

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas will start behind the Red Bull of Verstappen, with the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc once again showing good midfield pace in the scarlet car starting P4.

However, with just eight points between Hamilton and Verstappen at the top of the table, Red Bull have little room for error, with the Dutchman reflecting on his session.

“I struggled a little bit in Q1 but then we sorted out the balance for Q2 which was pretty good. Q3, for me to be honest both laps were pretty decent,” explained Verstappen.

“The second run was a little bit worse, it was quite gusty and the wind changes a lot.

“Nevertheless I think second for us is very good today. We know they’re hard to beat around here.

“To be that close, I can be happy with that. It’s a long run to turn one. Of course first you have to make sure you have a good start. The pace is there so of course I hope we can have a good race.

“Around here with all the fast corners and tyres overheating, tyre management is very important. We have to make sure we’re on top of that tomorrow.

“Our out-laps were so slow to make sure in the last sector the tyres survived. Everyone is doing more or less the same thing.”

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon once again out-qualified his team-mate, the two time world champion Fernando Alonso, to round up the top five.

McLaren have fallen behind a bit with their pace this weekend, with Daniel Ricciardo starting P7 and Lando Norris slotting into P9.

George Russell in the Williams starts P15 after getting into Q2 on Saturday.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Max Verstappen frustrations spill over as Valtteri Bottas denies Lewis Hamilton 100th pole

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Valtteri Bottas has snatched a surprise pole position in a bizarre qualifying session in Portimao ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix, after Max Verstappen had his fastest lap deleted – with Lewis Hamilton splitting the pair in second.
Bottas set at 1:18:348s, with Hamilton just 0.007s behind his team-mate – with Verstappen in the Red Bull 0.398s off the pace.

Verstappen decided against an extra prep lap in Q3 which gave him clear running for a flying lap at the start of Q3, however the Red Bull driver ran slightly wide at Turn 4 and had his lap deleted, which would’ve been enough to take pole.

Clearly frustrated after the session, Verstappen was seen refusing a cameraperson a shot as he spoke with his team-mate Sergio Perez, and after his interview sat behind the podium with his head in his hands.

“Qualifying was very difficult to drive, I was struggling a lot with the grip,” explained a clearly frustrated Verstappen.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner insists ‘pressure is off’ Verstappen

“That first lap in Q3 was decent, but I just had a big moment at 4, so went a little bit off track, but I was quite confident we could do another good lap, but in the last sector there was a car in front, in the last two corners it just disturbs you.

“Especially with the low grip we already have, and the tough wind out here, basically it cost me a lot of lap time, but it is what it is.”

And speaking of the two Mercedes out in front of him at the start of the race, Verstappen added that it’s “not ideal” but “will try to fight them tomorrow.”

“Hopefully everything stabilises a bit more because up until now, it’s not been a lot of fun to drive here.” concluded the Dutchman.

Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff delivers Bottas and Russell stance
Lewis Hamilton joins social media boycott in a stand against racism
Lando Norris respects Lewis Hamilton advice

Hamilton remains stuck on 99 pole positions as his team-mate racked up his 17th ahead of the race, with both Mercedes drivers starting on the medium compound of tyre, the same as Verstappen.

Conditions changed throughout the final part of qualifying, with no one able to better their time, however Hamilton seemed content he’s ahead of his title rival.

“Great job by Valtteri and a great job by the team,” said the seven-time world champion.

“Surprised to be on the front row, definitely not expected this weekend – so we’ve got to be happy with that.

“Max obviously pulled something out towards the end, but not sure where they [Red Bull] were earlier on, but not the perfect lap.

“I don’t think we can ever be satisfied, that’s what we exist to do, to continue to push forward. But I’m definitely happy with the work we are doing and the steps that we are taking.”

Red Bull seemed to struggle throughout qualifying, with Sergio Perez taking a trip through the gravel during Q1, but will line up P4 behind his team-mate.

Carlos Sainz out-qualified his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc and will start P5, with Leclerc starting P8.

Esteban Ocon comprehensively beat his team-mate Fernando Alonso to make it through to Q1, and will start P6 with Alonso starting P13.

Lewis Hamilton beats Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen to take Emilia Romagna GP pole

Lewis Hamilton edged out Sergio Perez and championship rival Max Verstappen to put his Mercedes on pole for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. In a tense and unpredictable session at Imola, the seven-time world champion held his nerve to beat Perez by just 0.035 seconds, with Verstappen a surprise third. It marked the 99th pole of the Briton’s stunning career.
McLaren driver Lando Norris had briefly moved into second behind Hamilton, but his final lap was deleted for exceeding track limits. He had to settle for seventh.

Charles Leclerc finished fourth for Ferrari, three tenths adrift of Hamilton, while the Briton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was only eighth in the other Mercedes.

Fans are hopeful that Hamilton and Verstappen will provide a season-long battle for the championship and the sport’s two brightest stars will occupy the top three positions in Sunday’s second instalment of the year.

And after Hamilton drew on all his experience to keep Verstappen at bay to win a thrilling season opener in Bahrain three weeks ago, the Red Bull man will be seeking revenge on Sunday.

McLaren driver Lando Norris had briefly moved into second behind Hamilton, but his final lap was deleted for exceeding track limits. He had to settle for seventh.

Charles Leclerc finished fourth for Ferrari, three tenths adrift of Hamilton, while the Briton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was only eighth in the other Mercedes.

Fans are hopeful that Hamilton and Verstappen will provide a season-long battle for the championship and the sport’s two brightest stars will occupy the top three positions in Sunday’s second instalment of the year.

And after Hamilton drew on all his experience to keep Verstappen at bay to win a thrilling season opener in Bahrain three weeks ago, the Red Bull man will be seeking revenge on Sunday.

But with overtaking around the Imola circuit among the hardest on the calendar, Hamilton will hold the advantage as he bids to claim his second win in as many races.

“Today has been great,” said Hamilton. “I did not expect to be ahead of the two Red Bulls because they have been so quick this weekend.

“I love it, I love the challenge. It is great that finally we have got the two Red Bulls there. I am so happy. The first lap was really nice, really clean.”

A disappointed Verstappen said: “It was not so good in Q3. I went off in turn three so it was a bit messy and not a good lap. But you cannot be good every time.”

Q1 was red-flagged after only six minutes when Yuki Tsunoda crashed out.

The Japanese rookie lost control of his AlphaTauri on the exit of the Variante Alta, sliding backwards and into the tyre wall.

Tsunoda emerged unscathed from his cockpit but sustained significant damage to the rear of his car.

On an encouraging afternoon for Williams both George Russell and Nicholas Latifi progressed to the second phase.

The British team have been on a downward curve for a number of years, but now, under new management and new ownership, are showing tentative signs of improvement.

Russell finished 12th, ahead of Latifi in 14th. The Williams drivers will be surrounded by two world champions, with Sebastian Vettel only 13th for Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso 15th in his Alpine. Both men were upstaged by their junior team-mates Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll, ninth and 10th respectively.

Meanwhile, Mick Schumacher qualified 18th, one place above team-mate Nikita Mazepin, with Tsunoda rounding out the grid following his early shunt.

Qualifying results

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
5. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)
6. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
7. Lando Norris (McLaren)
8. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
11. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
12. George Russell (Williams)
13. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
14. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
15. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
16. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
17. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
18. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
19. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)
20. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Lewis Hamilton surprised by pole position as Max Verstappen vows to make race 'difficult'

Lewis Hamilton has claimed his 99th Formula One pole position of his career ahead of the Emilia Romagna GP in a fascinating qualifying session in Imola.
Sergio Perez beat his team-mate Max Vertsappen to line up behind Hamilton in only his second outing in a Red Bull.

The Dutchman meanwhile starts in third place, with both himself and Hamilton lining up on the grid with a set of the medium tyres, with the Mexican splitting the pairing on the soft compound of tyre.

Mercedes were expecting to struggle again coming into the weekend after being on the backfoot during the opening weekend of the season in Bahrain, despite Hamilton claiming victory.

Both Hamilton and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas were top of the timing screens during Friday’s practice, with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen fastest in final practice.

Lewis Hamilton pays tribute to Prince Philip and backs F1 changes

And there was all to play for come qualifying with no clear advantage for any of the top teams – however it was Hamilton’s first flying lap in Q3 that sealed the deal for the brit.

Sounding almost shocked as he crossed the line, Hamilton afterwards said: “The day’s been great, obviously.

“I definitely didn’t expect us to be ahead of two Red Bulls. I think they’ve been so quick this weekend, there were times they were six tenths ahead.

“We didn’t really know where we’d be, but the car was already feeling a lot better from the beginning this weekend, so my respect to the team for the hard work to really narrow down the window.”

Hamilton will have a lonely start to his race tomorrow with his team-mate Bottas starting P8 – with two fast Red Bulls alongside him.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas happy to be ‘hunters’
Five F1 drivers who have the most to prove at Emilia Romagna GP
Max Verstappen determined to take fight to Lewis Hamilton

But the seven-time world champion was up for the challenge.

“I love it, I love the challenge,” replied Hamilton.

“I think it’s great finally we’ve got the two Red Bulls there. I think it’s going to definitely make the strategy harder, and it’s going to be a real challenge tomorrow because they’ve got great race pace.

“But I’m just so happy, because the first lap was really, really nice. Really clean and there were some improvements on the second lap, but it wasn’t quite as good as the first one.

“But I’m really grateful, came round the last corner and found out I got the pole and I was super grateful.”

The top three drivers were separated by less than a tenth of a second in the battle for pole, with Verstappen being out-qualified by his team-mate.

Verstappen starts with the same strategy as Hamilton tomorrow on the medium tyres, but was unhappy with the outcome of the day.

“Not so good, in Q3 I went off at turn 3. It was a bit messy and not a very good lap,” admitted Verstappen.

“But it can’t be good every time, so we’ll see what went wrong. But it was definitely not the easiest in Q3.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed