Lewis Hamilton has made no secret of his delight after securing his fifth pole position at the Chinese Grand Prix during qualifying on Saturday at the Shanghai International Circuit.
The defending Formula 1 world champion edged out Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by just 0.042 seconds in the final part of qualifying, but it was enough to give him a third pole position of the season.
Hamilton has an impressive record in China, winning the race three times. He has also started on pole position in 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2014, making this his fifth pole position in Shanghai.
“I think China’s continuing to be generally a good circuit for me, a very, very positive vibe here,” Hamilton said. “The car’s handling fantastically well this weekend, a lot better than it was in terms of the whole weekend compared to how it was in Malaysia.
“At the end of the day, this team continues to do an amazing job, the guys back in the factory continue to do a great job to regroup after the last race and bring some improvements for this weekend. I feel very grateful for that.”
Mercedes was upstaged by Sebastian Vettel in Malaysia as the German driver claimed Ferrari’s first win in almost two years ahead of Hamilton and Rosberg.
However, the Briton explained after qualifying that a number of changes have been made to ensure that there is no repeat of this result, although he does remain wary of the threat from behind.
“Obviously it wasn’t the tidiest weekend for us,” Hamilton said, reflecting on Malaysia. “More so for me and my guys on my side of the garage, we just wanted to get our full program in.
“Fortunately we didn’t have any problems so far this weekend, so that’s a big step for us. Obviously we’e got a tough race ahead of us tomorrow.
“Nico is quite quick, and the Ferrari is very good with its long run pace. So it’s not over by any means.”
You can watch the Chinese Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30a ET tomorrow.