Spanish GP: Lewis Hamilton Reveals Battling ‘Anxiety’ Before Spectacular 100th Pole Lap

Published 05/08/2021, 11:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton reacts after qualifying in pole position REUTERS/Emilio Morenatti


Lewis Hamilton managed to achieve yet another incredible feat at the Spanish Grand Prix, by securing what is his 100th career pole position. But, to get to the triple figures, the Briton had to work incredibly hard amidst constant threat from his teammate and championship rival, Max Verstappen.

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The seven-time world champion looked like the second-fastest driver on the grid the whole time. However, a stellar comeback in Q3 assured Hamilton his pole position.

So, what really caused Hamilton to suffer the substantial drop in pace during qualifying?

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Well, the 36-year-old revealed that Mercedes got the set-up wrong ahead of a crucial qualifying session. Hence, the Briton ended up on the back foot the whole time.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 8, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Emilio Morenatti

Especially during the first run in Q2, Hamilton lapped almost 0.8 seconds slower than Verstappen, who was leading the pack at the time; such was the pace that the Mercedes driver had to cope with.

However, Hamilton managed to revive his car’s pace by making minor “tweaks” to the set-up ahead of Q3, and luckily for him, the pace did not get worse. Moreover, he managed to improve his pace, as he grabbed onto an astonishing pole.

What did Lewis Hamilton say?

During the post-qualifying press conference, the pole sitter opened up about his dramatic outing at Barcelona, where huge uncertainty was prevailing over his hopes of securing pole.

Well, Q3 was looking really good. I think we’ve been strong all weekend. And I made some changes. I had a bit of anxiety about the changes that we were potentially gonna make for qualifying,” he said. “You always try to make the car better, you know. 

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But it was a bit of a gamble because you also gotta keep the race in mind. Anyway, we made this change. And as soon as we got out, I was like this is immediately the wrong one. It was really hard. And that is why I was behind the whole way through qualifying. 

I was making small tweaks here and there to try and elevate pace-wise. But the first lap was the best lap that I got through the whole session, which is great,” Hamilton added.

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Overall, Verstappen managed to split the two Mercedes yet again by lining up alongside Hamilton in P2. Hence, an intense drag race to turn 1 is on cards. But who is ultimately going to come ahead in this heating-up rivalry?

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Rohit Kumar

747 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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