Hamilton praises Mercedes focus after 'very clean' Bahrain pole lap

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Lewis Hamilton voiced his appreciation for the continued focus of his Mercedes team after claiming a superb pole at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Despite a close fight with Red Bull's Max Verstappen, the seven-time world champion showed his class by getting faster and faster with every lap, until his nearest rivals had no response.

And for Hamilton, he remains impressed at how his team keep pushing even when both championships are decided.

“I really didn’t celebrate to be honest, I was training and trying to make sure I was ready for this, keeping my mind and eye on the ball,” he said on what he's been doing since winning the title two weeks ago in Istanbul.

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“But this is the continuation of what we’re able to do together as a team. I just continue to be amazed by my guys, naturally that work so hard weekend in weekend out.

“Now they’re away from their families for three weeks and no matter what’s thrown at us, it’s always a really tough year, and I appreciate them. To be out here in Bahrain and be able to put laps like that together."

As for his own performance," he added: “You know I came today and I was like, let’s just have fun and enjoy and that’s the most important thing, to enjoy what you’re doing. And with the pressure a little bit off, it’s a bit of a release to go and drive like I just did.”

Highlighting how good Hamilton was, after initially claiming pole with his first lap in Q3, he went out and found another four-tenths on his second run, which was enough to be two-tenths clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas.

But while impressive, he explained it could have been better.

“I am on the ragged edge naturally,” he said. “It’s all about trying to find that perfect balance. You want to take quite a lot on the way in and keep the exit.

“You want to have your cake and eat it, so it’s about just chipping away at it during the lap. I think the lap started off really well. There was probably a little bit of time in Turn 1, just a little bit underperformed I would say to the apex, but after that it was good.

“Turns 4 and 6 was a little bit slower, I probably could have gone better there. So I could talk you through the lap and tell you that there’s always just a little bit here and there, but the next lap I go out, maybe I’ll improve here and there and I’ll lose somewhere else.

“But otherwise it was a very clean lap. I generally stayed around two and a half tenths the whole way through so I was pretty happy with it.”