Lewis Hamilton said he never imagined reaching 100 poles in Formula 1. The Briton is used to breaking new records in the sport, but his achievement at the Spanish GP is something he never thought of.
“The 100-mark is something that I don’t think anybody, particularly me, thought I’d get to that number,” he said.
“It’s crazy that it is 100 and it felt like one of the first. And that for me makes it even more special because there have been so many qualifying sessions, so many mistakes, so many near misses, so many moments of growth.
“And I love how close it is between us all. I think that’s great for the fans and also for the people who are just behind us.”
Hamilton said he had balance issues early on in the qualifying session, admitting he didn’t think he had many chances of grabbing the pole position for the Grand Prix.
“I think it was a great lap, and I think it’s the journey… Sometimes you start qualifying from the get-go and have the right balance, and then it’s really just down to doing the right job.
“I didn’t have the right balance and I was behind, no matter the changes I was making – still slightly behind, still not quite there. So I was making these changes and hoping that by Q3 this is all I got so make the best of it.
“I just had so much understeer, the car was very lazy, wouldn’t turn around the corners the way I wanted. So you’re waiting and waiting and waiting, so I was just making small adjustments within what we were able to change in order to get the car to turn and that’s a combination of many things. It’s just pulling every millisecond together. It was my cleanes lap. I will always remember that one.”
Hamilton said he still has a hard time processing his latest achievement – 100 pole positions. The Mercedes driver was lost for words as he explained how special qualifying was for him.
“I don’t really feel like I can compute it right now; it’s a huge number. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. Excited it’s so close and it felt amazing.
“Qualifying is so special – you come across that line and you find out you’re just ahead… And you’re thinking how will I squeeze out more? Will the other guys find a tenth or two or three on the next run, or none at all?
“It’s nerve wracking for the fans and I’m sure it’s the same for you… It’s such a big number that it’s hard to express just how crazy it is and amazing it is. I don’t really know what else to say.”