Hamilton celebrates historic 100th pole

BOITUMELO RANTAO

WORLD champion Lewis Hamilton continues to set new records.

The 7th time world champion drove like a true champ in Spain yesterday to claim a historic 100th pole ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, held in Barcelona.

Hamilton staved off spirited challenges from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to earn the historic pole.

And the champ was over the moon with his achievement. 

He said: “100 Poles! I can’t even begin to describe how this feels. I can’t thank the team and everyone back at the factory enough for everything they’ve done to help us secure this incredible milestone. I feel so humbled and very grateful. This feels like my first win all over again.

“I can’t believe we are at a 100! It’s down to the men and women back at the factory. It’s been a dream to work with these guys. Who would have thought  at the end of 2012 atht we will be at 100. I am ecstatic! It’s like my first.”

Hamilto broke the record for most poles in 2017 when his achievements surpassed  the legendary Michael Schumacher’s 68 poles and Ayrton Senna’s 65.

Verstappen,  a fierce competitor and challenger for the 2021 world championship, was happy with starting the Spanish Grand Prix behind Hamilton. “Second for us here on this track is good for us. I can be happy with aht. I hope we can have a good race,” he said.

Bottas gave his all for a pole in Spain and believed that  the battle was closer than many think.

 “That was close,” he said. “Was definitely in for the battle for the pole. I think it is going to be very close between us and Red Bull in the race.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc occupies the last spot on the second row, ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon who produced a sensational lap to qualify in fifth. 

Carlos Sainz, in his first home race for Ferrari, qualified in sixth. Mclaren’s Daniel Ricciardo qualified in 7th after only one lap in Q3, an improvement after crashing out in Q1 in Portimão.

The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez could only manage eighth after the Mexican veered slightly off the track resulting in a spin and track stewards briefly showed yellow flags. The second home-runner off the weekend, Fernando Alonso, crossed the line tenth fastest in his Alpine.

Hamilton’s historic achievement also earned him praise from his fans and some of his competitors. Team McLaren posted a congratulatory note to him on Twitter and said: “From 1 to 100, congratulations on an amazing achievement, Lewis.”

The Aston Martin team said: “Incredible to watch, congratulations, Lewis.”

The top 10 in starting grid is made up of:

  • Hamilton
  • Verstappen
  • Bottas
  • Leclerc
  • Ocon
  • Sainz
  • Ricciardo
  • Perez
  • Norris
  • Alonso
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