Lewis Hamilton made the most of the tricky weather conditions to take pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, and revealed that he has been working hard on his performances on a circuit that he admits is not one of his favourites.
In a session that saw a mixture of sun and rain, Hamilton set a time of 1:07.922 to deny Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team-mate Nico Rosberg by just over half a second, with the track drying significantly in the closing moments to allow drivers to switch from intermediate back on to slick tyres.
The reigning World Champion is looking for a cool race day on Sunday to be able to conserve his tyres, especially with both the Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari drivers set to start on the Supersoft Pirelli tyre rather than the Ultrasoft Hamilton will have to use.
“This is definitely one of those tracks that I have to keep working at and I’ve been building up to today’s qualifying session,” said Hamilton. “It’s not an easy track to execute the perfect lap and admittedly it’s not my best circuit.
“As a driver I’m someone who brakes nice and deep and here you have to lift off the accelerator early, keeping your minimum speed high, which is not something I’m used to doing.
“The track dries up so quickly here – it’s a great feature of this circuit and made qualifying really interesting. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit cooler which will help me in managing my tyres and I can get off to a good start. The race will be interesting and I’m hoping it will be a good day.”