After setting a dominant pole position around the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya this after noon Lewis Hamilton put to bed any speculation that he was considering a sabbatical bluntly remarking: “A year out? No way. Whoever wrote that was smoking something. Some pretty good stuff.”
British tabloid and elements of the broadsheet media set about the story earlier this ahead of today’s qualifying session. Lewis took the opportunity of the FIA top 3 qualifying press conference to respond to the rumours directly.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas team secured their 58th pole position, moving one ahead of the Red Bull Racing team in the all time tally, in dominant style with Lewis setting a 1:22.000 time. Setting the time in his second run in Q3 Lewis’ time was 0.280’s ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg.
Speaking about his pole time and tomorrow’s race in prospect Lewis commented “That felt great today to finally put the lap together, I’m very very happy. You always need to put that performance in, it reassures your belief, and Nico had been so fast this weekend, sometimes two tenths quicker, sometimes more. I could see on my data where I was losing, so I had to try and figure it out on track, and it is so satisfying to attack that obstacle and get through it. I am really grateful to the team for working hard overnight to put the car in the right place for me to fight – and now it’s three poles from three for me when I’ve been able to do the laps in qualifying. I haven’t had a proper race with Nico yet this year so I am hoping that will start tomorrow. It’s very hard to overtake here, so strategy is important, as is looking after the tyres: the forces round this circuit means it just eats the tyres up, so you need to get that balance just right and see it through to the finish”