Lewis Hamilton admitted his recovery on Saturday from a spin to claim a record-smashing pole position for the British Grand Prix had been his “hardest turnaround.”
The six-time world champion had struggled to match his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in final practice and the first two parts of qualifying at Silverstone.
He recovered from a rare spin in Q2, which required him to then put in a necessary lap to proceed to Q3 where, after a personal re-boot, he found the pace for his seventh pole at the English circuit.
“It wasn’t a nice qualifying for me until then,” he said.
“I had inconsistency with the balance of the car and I was struggling.
“I got into Q2 and then I had that big snap and spin, my first for some time. Luckily, the tyres were fine and I went out on another fresh set. After that I just had to compose myself again.
“It was probably the hardest turnaround I’d say – Valtteri had been putting in quick lap after quick lap so to go into Q3 with a reset, mentally, and then put in those two laps. Now, I feel great.”
Hamilton said he expected Bottas to continue reducing his lap times in Q3 and knew he was under pressure.
“I had that horrible spin and I felt like the car was worse that it was before we made some changes ahead of qualifying and lap by lap Valtteri was stepping it up.
“I got one clean lap and then a better one. The pole lap wasn’t perfect, but it was 99 per cent – it was pretty sweet.”