Lewis Hamilton roared back to form and secured a stunning pole position for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix when he delivered a record-breaking qualifying lap on Saturday.
The defending four time world champion and current series leader broke the track lap record with a series of laps that culminated in him clocking 1:16.173 — 0.040 seconds ahead of teammate Finn Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes locked up the front row of the grid.
It was Hamilton’s second pole this season, after the season-opening race in Australia, his third straight in Spain and the 74th of his career. It broke Sebastian Vettel’s streak after three straight poles.
German four-time champion Vettel was third fastest for Ferrari ahead of his teammate 2007 champion Finn Kimi Raikkonen and the Red Bulls of Dutchman Max Verstappen and Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
Dane Kevin Magnussen of Haas was seventh ahead of two-time champion and home hero Fernando Alonso of McLaren, fellow-Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Renault and Frenchman Carlos Sainz of Renault.
The top four were separated by only 0.132 seconds at the end of the session.
“I needed this pole — I’ve not had one for a while,” said Hamilton who leads Vettel in the drivers’ title race by just four points after four races.
“And it’s a Mercedes one-two which is great here. There is always a great atmosphere here with loads of British fans and even Spanish fans supporting us!”