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Hamilton satisfied to get second Q3 lap right as he claims Austin pole

Written by  Oct 20, 2018

Lewis Hamilton was pleased to have produced the goods on his second flying lap in Q3 to claim a vital pole position for Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

Though he led after the initial Q3 runs, the Mercedes driver was aware there was still time to be found both from himself and in the face of a renewed threat from Ferrari.

Also with the knowledge of recent history of his performances in qualifying, despite often taking pole, that meant he put a little more pressure on himself to get it right on his final attempt.

“Obviously once we got to that last run I knew it was quite edgy between us and it was going to require a solid lap,” he commented on the grid post-session.

“The first one was decent but not good enough and the second one was just that little bit better that enabled me to pull that out [and claim pole].

“I have had some races where I have not actually done a better time, I have had to bail out the second lap so I was very adamant that I was going to do a better second lap so I am very happy with that.”

Hamilton was right to expect those in red to go faster as well with Kimi Raikkonen initially going P1 before Lewis responded with his eventual pole time, just 0.061s clear of Sebastian Vettel, who finished second but will drop to fifth after his penalty.

The Briton also took time to do his usual praising of the fans and the thrill of driving around the Circuit of the Americas.

“It [the track] started out very, very green and very slippery in Practice 3, then once we got into qualifying it was just rubbering in so it was getting faster and faster every session," he explained.

“The wind direction is a beautiful headwind going into the Esses so the Esses is just incredible. It is a little bit like Maggotts and Becketts [at Silverstone] and there is such a big crowd here.

“We did a fan signing earlier and I have never seen the fans so hyped before so it was great, but a big thank you to the team and everyone here,” Lewis added.

“I just hope for better weather for everybody that is in the grandstand and I hope that it is an exciting race tomorrow.”

Looking ahead to the race where the threat of Kimi Raikkonen on Ultrasoft tyres will await on the run to Turn 1 at the start but should Hamilton go on and take a seventh win in the States, the pressure will be on Vettel to claim the P2 he needs to keep the title fight going to Mexico.

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