World champion Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix on pole position, after taking the honour for the 100th time in his glittering Formula One career.
- Hamilton beat Max Verstappen for pole by just three-hundredths of a second
- Michael Schumacher has the second-most F1 career pole positions with 68
- Australian Daniel Ricciardo will start seventh after a promising performance
The Briton became the first driver to reach the milestone, pipping Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by just 0.036 seconds on Saturday in Barcelona.
Hamilton’s feat in Spain adds to a growing list of accolades in his decorated career — statistically the greatest of any F1 driver.
He achieved his first career pole at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix and since then has found himself at the top of the grid with remarkable consistency.
Michael Schumacher has the second-most career pole positions with 68, making Hamilton’s dominance of Saturday’s qualifying more remarkable.
“I just can’t believe we’re at 100 — it’s down to the women and men back at the factory who are continuously raising the bar and never giving up,” Hamilton said on Saturday.
Some of Hamilton’s former teammates praised the Briton for his latest achievement in the sport.
Fernando Alonso, who partnered Hamilton at McLaren in the Briton’s sensational 2007 debut season, said he is not surprised the now-Mercedes driver reached the milestone.
“I think it’s an amazing achievement that shows how good Lewis is, in not only one lap but also in a race situation,” the two-time world champion said.
“It’s in a way not a surprise. He has dominated the sport for a few years now and he is getting better and better every time.”
Jenson Button, the 2009 champion and Hamilton’s McLaren team mate from 2010 to 2012, said his compatriot was a master of qualifying from the day he entered the sport.
“Lewis has always been absolutely stunning when it comes to qualifying,” Button said.
“From his first race in Formula One until now, it has definitely been a strength of his.”
Hamilton will now turn his focus to Sunday’s race, with Verstappen again on pace with the seven-time world champion.
The pair have occupied first and second in each of the three races this season and are separated by just eight points in the driver’s standings.
Ricciardo shows promise in McLaren, qualifying seventh
After a disastrous qualifying session the week before in Portugal, Australian Daniel Ricciardo was able to bounce back in Spain.
The Australian put his McLaren seventh on the grid for Sunday’s race, edging his teammate Lando Norris for the third time this year.
The result is positive for the McLaren team, who seemed to be off the pace during the second practice session on Friday.
Ricciardo has struggled with his new team this year, but said Saturday’s result was a step in the right direction.
“Today was a much better day and we made a really good step from [Friday’s practice],” he said.
“So, I’m very happy and thankful that we found some answers and that the updates seem to be working.”
The Australian is currently seventh in the driver’s standings and has been outperformed by Norris in all three races this season.
Sunday’s race will be Ricciardo’s best chance to beat his teammate, who is starting ninth, as the track in Barcelona is notoriously hard to overtake on.