Hamilton credits 'immense' Mercedes journey after 100th F1 pole

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Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to the "immense" journey he's had with Mercedes after securing his 100th Formula 1 pole in Spain on Saturday.

The seven-time world champion beat Red Bull's Max Verstappen by just 0.036s in qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to reach an unprecedented century, placing him 32 poles ahead of Michael Schumacher in the all-time record list.

Such is Hamilton's achievement, only five teams in the 70-year history of F1 have scored more pole positions than he has and unsurprisingly, the gravity of his accomplishment hadn't sunk in when he stepped out of the car.

“I can’t believe that we’re at 100,” he told Pedro de la Rosa in Parc Ferme. "I don't know how I am supposed to feel. It's such a big number, it's hard to express how crazy and amazing it is.

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"Really it is down to the men and women down at the [Mercedes] factory who continue to raise the bar and just never giving up. The support that I have, it’s been a dream for me to work with these guys.

“The journey that we’ve been on has been immense. Who would have thought in 2013 or 2012 when we made the decision to partner that we would be at 100 poles?

"So I feel very humble, very grateful and I’m ecstatic like it’s my first. I’ll always remember that one."

Of course, that first one came just a month shy of 14 years ago at Hamilton's sixth F1 race, the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix.

And as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff remarked on Lewis's latest moment of history, he claimed it was just more proof F1 is watching one of the greatest to ever compete.

“Every time I get asked the question about was this his best lap, best race… he’s just operating on this extremely unseen, never seen level,” said the Austrian via Motorsport Week.

“And today again, probably the car wasn’t perfect and he just edged the other ones out and the 100 poles is incredible.”

As with all of Hamilton's records though, his critics will be quick to once again make the "it's the car" argument as 69 of those 100 poles have come during Mercedes' dominant period since 2014. 

“There will always be people that will see it that way,” Wolff said in response. “I think the stronger you get, the more jealousy and negativity you will encounter.

“It’s totally irrelevant what somebody else says, it’s irrelevant these things and what we think in the team, if we would listen to all the noise that’s being said out there, we would be more distracted from our job.

“I mean he’s clearly the outstanding driver. 100 pole positions and growing as a personality on and off track, clearly there is something that he does much better than everybody else.

“He wouldn’t be a seven-time world champion if that was not the case.

“But I also think that the combination of team and driver needs to function and it has functioned over the last seven years and continues to grow strong.”