Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton: “That lap just started perfect and it just kept going – it felt magical”

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Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport - Marina Bay Street Circuit
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lewis Hamilton felt his pole position lap during Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday was amongst the best of his career, with the Briton describing his effort as a ‘sexy lap’.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver broke the lap record around the Marina Bay Street Circuit, with his 1:36.015 more than three-tenths of a second ahead of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, while Hamilton’s championship rival Sebastian Vettel was more than six-tenths of a second back in third for Scuderia Ferrari.

Hamilton gave it all in his first Q3 lap and was unable to get anywhere near the same kind of pace in his second run, abandoning it before the end, but he had already done more than enough to take his fourth pole position in Singapore and the seventy-ninth of his career.

“That lap just started perfect and it just kept going – it felt magical,” said Hamilton.  “It felt like one of the best – if not the best lap I’ve ever done. It’s what my brother and me would call a ‘sexy lap’.

“I only had that one lap in me today, I just couldn’t go any faster afterwards. This track is all about confidence, confidence in your braking points and the stability of the car, you only have a few laps to build your steps towards it. As soon as you lose it, it’s very hard to build back up to it.

“So I’m grateful that I had the extra two laps on the HyperSofts in Q2 as I could try and understand the tyre a bit more. In Q3, it really felt like each corner was on the limit, but no more, I didn’t have any wheel spin or any of that.”

Turning his attention to Sunday’s race, he knows the importance of making a good start and then looking after the Hypersoft Pirelli tyre for as long as possible.  Hamilton feels it will be close between all three leading teams and he acknowledges he will have a fight on his hands to take the victory.

“I think the races have generally been quite strong for me this year, so I hope this will continue tomorrow,” said Hamilton.  “I’m going to work hard tonight to make sure the start is good.

“After that it will be all about looking after the tyres; making the HyperSofts last long won’t be easy, but we’re all in the same boat, so it should be interesting. The Ferraris and the Red Bulls in particular had good long-run pace, so we have a fight on our hands tomorrow.

“But I’m just so grateful that we did a better job today and so grateful for the support from everyone in the team today; this journey that I’m on with Mercedes and the entire team is just a remarkable experience.”

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