Despite having won three of the four United States Grand Prix races held at the Circuit if the Americas, Lewis Hamilton has never managed to claim pole position in qualifying here in four previous attempts – until now.
“I know! Crazy, right?” he said after topping qualifying on Saturday.
“I feel amazing. It’s my first pole here, so it’s been many years of trying and a lot of great people have tried to help me get that so I’m very very happy with today.
“It’s taken me a while. Always been quick here, just not been particularly perfect on the qualifying lap for some reason. Turn 1 is always my weak point – it’s been my weak point every year I’ve come back and been working on it and I never get it right. And this weekend I got it pretty spot on in that lap.”
Hamilton said he was unconcerned about the strange sound he reported from his car while shifting gear into seventh during qualifying, and that he had been reassured by the team that there were no problems with his gearbox.
“They said there’s no problem, no – it might have been the way I was doing it. Fingers crossed, I think.
“I had felt it before but it was like a part throttle shift so that was probably why. Sometimes if you’re coming off throttle and you shift there’s a weird clunk and if you’re just accelerating gently and you shift it’s much smoother so I think they said it’s fine.”
The other concern for Hamilton tomorrow is getting a good start and not undoing all of Saturday’s good work in the initial run to turn 1.
“[Getting pole] is a nice positive tick, but tomorrow needs to have a real big one,” he acknowledged. “Been practising the starts all weekend so I feel positive about it.
“I feel positive. I think we’ve worked hard over the last couple of weeks understanding and improving on lots of areas.
“I’ll prepare the best I can for tomorrow. I’ve got some incredible support through some friends out here and family and the crowd.
“This is a place I’ve loved for a long time, I’ve got great people that come out. I’m just going to give it everything I’ve got tomorrow as I have done today. It would mean the world to have the win, that’s the goal – I’ve just got to put thoughts to action.”
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