Lewis: The last sector was where I was able to make the...

Lewis: The last sector was where I was able to make the difference

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, Photo: Mercedes

Emotions ran high for Lewis Hamilton as the final qualifying session ended in familiar circumstances. the Mercedes man snatching pole. Hamilton secured his 11th pole of the season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He leads Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes front-row lockout.

“I’m so grateful for all the support we’ve had here,” Lewis said. “It’s so emotional for me because it’s the last lap I’ll do in this car. I’ve been so emotionally attached to this car. I’m so grateful for the mechanics who put this together for me.

To just go all out and put a performance like that is a special feeling. I’m just happy that this car will be in the history museum at Mercedes in Germany, so I can go visit whenever I can.

It’s been a privilege to work in this team with the mechanics who have given it to me. Their diligence I’m so grateful for everyone and it’s so much fun to go out there and express yourself and push your car the way you want.

I never say there is a perfect lap the first one wasn’t spectacular there was excursions and movement at the rear end the last sector was the killer and where I was able to make the difference, that’s not easy to do. Valtteri did a great job and Sebastian too.”

His teammate Bottas added:

First of all, Lewis had quite a last lap, so congratulations for that. In my first lap I felt there was plenty I could improve. And the gap would get smaller between us than in the first runs. In the second run I think there was definitively some track improvement, and both of us managed to find some time.

“But he just managed to get a little bit of a more complete lap, in the end. I think that what hurt me a bit was there was a couple of runs in qualifying where I couldn’t get a good lap in. With the Ultrasoft tyres, at the start of Q2 and in some other runs I really struggled with some things in the car.

“I think I lost a lot a little bit of time in Turns 17 and 18, it’s very difficult to get it perfectly right. He’s performing well, he was tough to beat this time, there was probably a little bit more time in me, but he also did a really good lap.”