Lewis Hamilton dedicated his record-breaking pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix to the workers back at the Mercedes factory after becoming the first Formula One driver of all time to secure 100 poles.
The Briton’s 1:16.741 lap saw him take first place for Sunday’s race ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with team-mate Valtteri Bottas starting in third.
Speaking to Pedro de la Rosa, Hamilton said post-qualifying: “FP3 was looking really good, I think we’ve been strong all weeekend. I made some changes and I had a bit of anxiety about the changes we were potentially going to make for qualifying.
“You’re always trying to make the car better but it’s a bit of a gamble. You’ve also got to keep the race in mind also.
“We made this change and as soon as I got out, I was like immediately, ‘This is the wrong one.’ It was my call at the end.
“It was really hard. That’s why I was behind the whole way through qualifying. I was making small tweaks here and there to elevate pace-wise.
“The first lap was the best lap that I got through the whole session which was great. I tried to improve the next lap, I was a tenth and a half up but I couldn’t keep it.
“Wow. I can’t believe that we’re at 100 – really, it’s down to the men and women that are back at the factory that are continuously raising the bar and never giving up.
“The support I have, it’s been a dream for me to work with these guys. The journey we’ve been on has been immense.
“Who would have thought in 2013 or the end of 2012 when we made the decision to partner we’d be qualifying at 100? I feel very humble, very grateful. I’m ecstatic like it’s my first.
“The set-up that I made, I had so much understeer, the car was very lazy and wouldn’t turn round the corners the way I would want.
“So you’re waiting and waiting and waiting, I was making small adjustments to get the car to turn and that’s a combination of many things.
“Then it’s just pulling every milisecond together. It was my cleanest lap as I said. I’ll always remember that one.”