Lewis Hamilton is setting his records at astronomical heights. In Spain, the British took pole positions for the 100th time. It seemed that Red Bull would benefit in Q3. But the Formula 1 record is a gift to the winner to get everything together at a defining moment.
This Lewis Hamilton is just amazing. Seven world titles, 97 wins and now 100th pole position in Formula 1. Sean’s superstar is racing from record to record and setting the bar so high that it’s hard to believe anyone would jump on it again. After his next work, Hamilton discovered the words himself. “100 Poles: This is such a crazy number that I can’t even describe my feelings. I feel incredibly humble and grateful. The first thing on my mind is all the people who have helped me on this path.” “
It is a long and successful journey that Hamilton has continued since 2007. In Canada, in their sixth Grand Prix, they won against the competition gathered in qualification for the first time. “I still remember the first time I had as much fuel in Fernando. Before that, my team always gave me a little more fuel to drive longer in the first leg of the race.”
You have to know that the teams had to return themselves. The amount of fuel in the qualification was also the starting amount for the first half of the race. At the time Formula 1. 264 Grand Prix still had refueling, Hamilton is in the three-digit range. The only stable rival on the McLaren applause. Fernando Alonso said, “This is unbelievable. This will not be his last poll.” “Lewis has dominated the game for years and it gets better with each season.” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolves bow. “I’ve always been asked whether it was the best lap for him or the best race. There’s no answer. All you have to say is that Lewis is constantly working at a level never seen before.”
First a lazy mercedes
It was the route from Q1 to Q3, the fastest lap of the day from an understeering car that further mellowed the position of the next pole. Hamilton was satisfied with his Mercedes’ driving behavior over three training sessions. But when the big rival, Max Verstappen, was two tenths in the final season, the drivers and engineers held their heads together. What changes can we use to find lap time to defeat this fast red bull?
Mercedes fixed the setup and threatened to overshoot the mark in an attempt to find maximum performance. Hamilton suddenly fled in an uncontrolled car. “It just didn’t want to give in Q1. It felt lazy. The balance wasn’t right. I waited and waited for the corner to enter. It was so low.”
But there was still time to fix the car. Most engineers have their hands tied in merit, but the front wing and differential can still be adjusted. To do this, shift the brake balance and adjust the tire pressure. And from here, Mercedes made decisive progress with small improvements. “It pulls on the nerves,” Hamilton says. “It’s no different to us than the audience on TV when things get so tight. You keep asking yourself: where can I get a tenth or even two here.”
Q3’s first lap brings Hamilton pole
In the second round it looked like a smack in the middle. Verstappen flew through Q2 with only one effort in 1: 16.922 minutes. It made two attempts to bring Hamilton closer to the halfway mark of Red Bull. After the first shot, he was seven tenths behind. Then only two and a half tenths of a second. But it is still a lot of wood.
One of the strengths of Mercedes and Hamilton is not to be disturbed. In Q3 it suddenly fit. The W12 was again to the taste of the record winner. And Hamilton handled the latter’s pole time on the first fast lap in the final: 1: 16.741 minutes. Verstappen missed by 36 thousand. “The lap was clean and precise. And it was just good enough to defeat Max,” the world champion said happily.
Wolff did not see a difference in the car, but between the drivers. “The car was not perfect. But Lewis reinstalled it. In Barcelona you have to balance the car in different sectors so that the tires don’t sink. It was too close between us and Red Bull. Finally. The driver would have to line up the sector. Lewis managed to do that. “
Soft tire at the beginning
The round was not right. Hamilton was on his way to another surge in the closing seconds. “I was one-and-a-half tenth to turn seven under my time. After nine, I was suddenly over a tenth and a half over.” They could not catch in the last section. Explanation: The wind rose again in the last minutes of eligibility. Cars are extremely sensitive to even small changes. Max Verstappen also reported: “It was impossible to predict how the wind would behave.”
The two World Cup rivals were not alone in their hunt for the best position. Valtteri Bottas also joined. Finn almost defeated the two main characters. But at this stage, every little mistake is too much. “I had a moment in the turn ten. That’s when the back of my car broke. It cost about a tenth.” Overall, Bottas was 0.132 seconds behind.
Even with its ideal time – composed of three individually fastest fields of qualification – Bottas will not reach the pole. We count an interval time of 1: 16.798 minutes. Verstappen packed three of its best regions in the first round of Q3. Hamilton would have filed ten thousandths of a second with ideal time. A look at the individual sections shows the balance between the two top cars. The first section has practically a tie. In the middle section, Mercedes is about two tenths ahead. But Red Bull scores slowly in the final zone. Verstappen was tenth fastest there.
At top speed, Mercedes is a lad ahead. Hence the statement of the team boss is a bit surprising. Perhaps the Silver Arrow caught the slipstream. In any case, Wolff warns of a speeding Red Bull on the struts. “We are slightly lacking in top speed compared to them. Red Bull has taken a step in this regard.” The hunter changed his perspective after Friday. Red Bull swapped the high-downforce rear wing for a copy for low air resistance.
Initially the same conditions apply. All cars in the top 10 start on soft tires. Hamilton explains why. “The run-up to the first corner is about 600 meters long. With a softer mixture you gain a distance of six meters than the medium. Doing this without it is much more beneficial.” Especially since the situation on the track is everything in Barcelona. Because it is hardly possible to overtake. In 22 cases out of 30, the man won on pole position. Therefore, Hamilton has the best card to take his 98th career win on Sunday.