Lewis Hamilton did what he came to do in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he secured his sixty-first career pole position for Sunday’s championship decider.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer dominated the qualifying session at the Yas Marina Circuit, with his lap of 1:38.755 more than three-tenths of a second clear of team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton admitted he was partly sad for this to be the last time he attacks qualifying with the W07 Hybrid, and praised his team for giving him such a great car all season long.
“It’s been an awesome weekend so far,” insisted Hamilton. “It’s rare that you end almost every session on top, so I’m very, very happy, with that. It’s down to the hard work done by the mechanics and the engineers to get the car where I need it, so I’m grateful to them for that, as always.
“I felt so great out there tonight. It’s really sad that this is the last Qualifying session we’re going to do in this car! It’s a dream for any driver to have something this good to drive.”
Hamilton admits that getting away well at the start on Sunday will give him a great opportunity to take what would be his tenth victory of the season, although he acknowledges it may not be enough knowing that team-mate Rosberg only needs a podium finish to take the title and everything that happens behind him is out of his control.
“I’ve been doing my practice starts from the pole slot all weekend as I wasn’t planning on being anywhere else for tomorrow,” said Hamilton. “I came here knowing that was a big part of what I needed this weekend and, now I’ve got that, I can focus on the race.
“Getting away in front will be the next important step. You need a big pace delta to overtake here, so the start will be crucial. Tonight, though, I need to look at strategy and how things need to work for me to get the win.
“At the moment, my pace is that little bit better. But I can’t control what happens behind me. All I can do is focus on my own race. You never know what might get thrown into the mix, so I’m just hoping my car is as beautiful as it has been so far this weekend and aiming for the win.”