Lewis Hamilton celebrated his sixtieth career pole position and his second at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace as the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer beat team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.102 seconds on Saturday.
Hamilton set the best time of the weekend in Q3 of 1:10.736 and admitted after the session that he has been feeling good throughout the weekend at Interlagos, and the short nature of the circuit means the smallest margins can mean a lot.
“It’s been feeling great all weekend,” said Hamilton. “Every session today I was up front and able to maintain that position, finding a little bit more each time I went out. So, I’m really, really happy with it.
“I don’t know how obvious it is watching at home but, with this being one of the shortest circuits on the calendar, it’s somewhere that even the smallest margin can make a huge difference and it’s usually close out there.”
Hamilton admits the Brazilian Grand Prix circuit is one of those difficult to get right, so he was happy to be able to get it right when it matters in qualifying, although he was forced to wait as Rosberg crossed the line after him having been up on his own lap in the opening two sectors only to lose time in sector three.
“It’s a really tricky track to get right,” admitted Hamilton. “For example, all weekend my first sector times were quite good but then I never really got it together through there in qualifying. When you have such a short lap, getting your tyres ready for the first flying lap is often difficult, so you can go into the first three corners without them being fully up to temperature yet.
“It’s quite bumpy in places and the middle sector puts a lot of heat through the tyres, so overall it’s definitely a tough circuit. It’s all about having a good balance of patience and not being too greedy in some places.”
Hamilton is ready for what the race on Sunday brings, regardless of the weather, with rain forecast to hit the Grand Prix at some point, although it was also meant to affect qualifying, but that did not materialise.
“I’ve felt strong in every aspect and in all conditions throughout this weekend, so I’ll prepare the best way I can for tomorrow and see how it goes from there,” said Hamilton. “I’m ready.”