Lewis Hamilton stormed to his tenth pole of the 2020 season as he thoroughly dominated qualifying in Bahrain on Saturday. The seven-time World Champion topped all three segments of qualifying as he beat Bottas by almost 0.3s.
Hamilton praised his Mercedes team for the hard work they’ve put in during a condensed season and was able to have fun today after sealing the title in Turkey.
“This is the continuation of what we’re able to do together as a team,” said Hamilton.
“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. 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.”
Hamilton was pleased with his lap overall, although the Brit did go into detail about where he felt he left some time on the table.
“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. Turn 4, Turn 6 was a little bit slower, I probably could have gone better there.
“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.”
98th pole secured 💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/6vB6QBiS1z— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 28, 2020
Valtteri Bottas was left puzzled by his lack of pace compared to Hamilton; the Finn felt the car was good and that he did a tidy, clean lap.
“I don’t really know [how the gap was almost 0.3s], actually,” said Bottas. “It felt good, that’s the problem. When it feels good, you feel like you’re extracting everything out of the car.
“But the lap time is not there – that’s the most confusing part. I cannot say more at the moment, there were no mistakes on the last lap.
“I thought it was really good. It’s like small things here and there, there’s not one clear corner. I need to find out but, at least, it’s another front-row lockout for us.”
“I don’t think there’s any underlying issue, really, with the performance of the car. I think it’s there, the long runs were good, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”