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.