Lewis Hamilton has put his first pole-position since the opening round of the year down to his team’s open-minded attitude in improving Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s W09.
Hamilton had seen his title rival Sebastian Vettel claim the previous three pole-positions for Scuderia Ferrari, but for this weekend’s 2018 Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton narrowly beat his team-mate Valtteri Bottas to claim his seventy-fourth pole-position.
“The team has been working so hard in the last weeks to improve our performance so I must say a big thank you to everybody here and back at the factory,” said Hamilton. “They have kept their heads down and been really open-minded to find new ways to try and improve; it’s been great to be part of and that’s what it takes to be a winning team.
“It was a very close qualifying session today and it took everything we’ve got to take pole. Ferrari were sandbagging until this afternoon and Valtteri has been driving exceptionally well; it’s fantastic for the team to get the front row and I know everyone will be very happy.
“Qualifying has always been a strength for me but I’ve had some tricky sessions since Melbourne, so I’m pleased to be back in a good position with it.”
A feature of the weekend so far has seen drivers getting to grips with Pirelli‘s Soft and Supersoft tyres on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya‘s new surface. Hamilton claims that it’s been “a constant learning process.”
“It has been a constant learning process with the tyres, getting them working in a very narrow window, but today we had them working.
“There is still lots of work to do tomorrow but this is a good way to start the weekend.”