Lewis Hamilton has narrowly edged out Max Verstappen to take pole for the Spanish Grand Prix, the 100th pole position of the 7-Time World Champion's illustrious career.
Qualifying for Spain marked the 129th pole position for Mercedes in Formula One, overtaking Williams as the third most successful team for pole positions.
History For Hamilton
After taking another slice of F1 history, hamilton was quick to heap praise on those in the background who have made his success possible.
'I was behind the whole way through qualifying and making small tweaks to find pace. I just can't believe we're at 100 - it's down to the women and men back at the factory who are continuously raising the bar and never giving up. It's a dream to work with them, what a journey! Who would have thought when we started out together at the end of 2012 that we'd be celebrating 100 poles!? I feel so humbled and very grateful for all their work. It feels just like my first! I'll always remember that one,' said Hamilton.
So Close For Max Verstappen
it was a case of so close yet so far for Max Verstappen, who put in what he thought was a perfect lap, only to come up 0.036s short.
'From my side it was a good qualifying. I’m pleased with my lap with no mistakes and I feel like I extracted the most out of the car. It was very close, but it wasn’t quite enough and sometimes you have to accept that. Mercedes seem to be a little bit ahead of us over one lap but to be on the front row here, especially compared to last year where we really struggled, we can be very happy with that. We know that the start is very important here and it can impact the race result, so of course we are focused on it, but we want to keep it clean as well as it’s a long race. We will of course give it our best tomorrow and I think we have decent race pace, if it’s enough to beat them I don’t know but we will push them all the way,' added Verstappen.
The Numbers Don't Lie
Although he leads a team that is re-writing the record books almost every weekend, Toto Wolff admitted he's not a stats man. However, 100 career poles for Hamilton has impressed him.
'I'm not one for statistics but 100 pole positions is a pretty impressive milestone! I told Lewis on the radio that it was quite an okay lap, but of course it was a little bit more than that. It looked like Max and Red Bull had a big advantage in Q2, but we kept chipping away at it and in the end, the top three drivers were covered by a tenth of a second; exactly how we want it to be in F1, battling for every thousandth of a second. Both Lewis and Valtteri did a fantastic job in those final laps, and when it's such tiny margins, every detail makes a difference. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we have the advantage of two cars on the clean side of the grid, and both drivers in the top three; that will provide us a strategic opportunity, and we need to make the most of it for the race,' concluded Wolff.