Hamilton warns ‘job not done yet’ despite Spanish GP pole
Lewis Hamilton warned that the “job is not done yet” after securing his fourth pole position this year and 150th front row start in sizzling heat and gusty wind on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s 50th Spanish Grand Prix.
The championship leader and six-time champion outpaced his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.059 seconds to claim his fifth pole in Spain and increase his career total to a record 92 poles.
Yet despite racing at a track where 15 of the last 19 Formula One races have been won from pole – and where Mercedes has taken the last eight poles since 2013 – the Briton was keen to make sure none of his team take anything for granted.
“It’s such a long way down to Turn One here, so the job is not done, that’s for sure,” he said.
“It’s very hard to follow here, the positioning is good, but it will be hard from pole position. But that’s what I’ve got to work on to get the best that I can.”
Hamilton said he had hoped to improve his lap time in the top ten shootout, in the final part of qualifying, but like close rival Bottas found he was unable to do so.
“I couldn’t go quicker on my second lap, which I thought I could, but this wasn’t a great lap – luckily the first one was decent, I guess, which did the job, thankfully.
“But these guys do such an awesome job and we are constantly learning. I was here with the guys until 10 o’clock last night just looking over all the details on how can we can improve, what are the areas, particularly for the race, where we can get better because these Red Bull are super fast.”
Clearly wary of the threat from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who beat him at last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, Hamilton was open also about the physical challenges he faces in the Spanish summer heat at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“The problems are all physical,” he said. “It’s just the amount you’re able to brake now, the amount you’re allowed to apply to the brake, it’s even heavier than before.
“There’s a lot of stress through your core. You’re flat out through Turn Nine, so a lot of stress on your neck, your whole body just wants to move to the side of the car and, as it’s so hot, you have to be even more careful on the throttle not to overheat the rear tires.
“It’s the first time I’ve been here in Barcelona when it’s been this hot.”
Track temperatures have pushed close to 50 degrees this weekend.
Hamilton will be seeking his fourth consecutive win and fifth overall at the Spanish Grand Prix and the 88th of his career as he closes in on Michael Schumacher’s record 91 victories.
He will also be racing for a record 156th podium finish, moving one ahead of Schumacher with whom he shares the current record of 155.