Lewis Hamilton was left feeling “amazing” after scoring his first pole position at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on Saturday, giving his fading hopes of a fourth Formula 1 title a boost.
Hamilton is a three-time winner at COTA (2012, 2014, 2015), but has never started a race at the track from pole position.
Hamilton last scored pole position on American soil back in 2007 during his rookie F1 season, in what proved to be the final United States Grand Prix to be held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Briton put an end to his barren run of poles in the U.S. on Saturday, finishing two-tenths of a second clear of drivers’ championship leader and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.
“I feel amazing. My first pole here. It’s been many years of trying and a lot of people who’ve helped me get that,” Hamilton said after the session.
“For us I want to say a big thanks to the crowd. I could hear them cheering. The energy on the slow down lap was much appreciated.”
Hamilton enters Sunday’s race trailing Rosberg by 33 points in the drivers’ championship and without a win since the end of July, with a number of poor starts proving costly in the meantime.
“We’ve worked hard the last couple weeks. It’s a great feeling to be back up here,” Hamilton said.
“I’ll do the best I can tomorrow. Have had some incredible support from friends, family and the crowd. Been practicing the starts all weekend.”
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2:30pm ET on Sunday.