Lewis Hamilton finds it “incredible” to be closing in on Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna’s tally of pole positions after adding to his haul in Austin, Texas on Saturday.
Hamilton scored the 58th pole of his F1 career in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix after edging out Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in Q3, recording the fastest ever lap around the Circuit of The Americas.
Hamilton trails only Michael Schumacher (68) and Senna (65) in the list for all-time poles in F1, the latter being an inspiration to the Briton throughout his junior racing days.
“Seven is still a long way to go but to think that I’m within shooting distance is incredible,” Hamilton said after qualifying at COTA.
“But it also just goes to show just how amazing a driver he was. To get as many poles as that in the amount of time that he had, it’s taken me a lot longer to get where I am so it was clearly phenomenal.”
At just 31 years old, Hamilton stands a good chance of becoming F1’s all-time pole position leader, particularly if Mercedes can continue its current domination of the sport over into the 2017 season.
In the running for the FIA Pole Trophy in 2016, Hamilton pulled clear of Rosberg in Austin, the pair previously tied for eight poles heading into the weekend. Daniel Ricciardo is the only other driver to have started a race from pole this year, leading the field away in Monaco.
Hamilton is bidding for his fourth victory at COTA in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2:30pm ET.
MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.
Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.
“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”
The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.
Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.
Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.
Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.
The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.