Lewis Hamilton takes 100th F1 pole at Spanish Grand Prix with rival Max Verstappen second on grid after qualifying

LEWIS HAMILTON took the 100th pole position of his Formula One career and declared it felt just like his first.

It is some achievement from the 36-year-old, who already has many more poles than any other driver in the history of F1 after beating Michael Schumacher’s total of 68.

Lewis Hamilton successfully took pole in Barcelona with a brilliant early lap in Q3 – it was the 100th of his careerCredit: Splash

max Verstappen sandwiched himself in between the two Mercedes drivers once more

max Verstappen sandwiched himself in between the two Mercedes drivers once moreCredit: Getty

Hamilton took his first pole in his debut season at the 2007 Canadian GP with McLaren.

Pole 100 came at the Spanish GP, his 270th race, and also a GP has won for the last four consecutive years with Mercedes.

He said: “Wow. I cannot believe we are at 100 poles and it is all down to the support I have.

“It has been a dream for me to work with these guys. Who would have thought when we made this decision to partner in 2013 that we would be at 100 poles?

“This one feels like my first… I don’t think I can compute it right now, it is such a huge number.

“I don’t exactly know how I feel. I am excited, it was close and so special to squeeze that tenth out of the car.

“It was also nerve-wracking. It is hard for me to explain just how crazy it is.”

Stunned Hamilton has put in some sensational pole laps in the 100 with perhaps the most memorable coming on the Saturday at the 2018 Singapore GP.

Verstappen narrowly missed out on pole position on Saturday

Verstappen narrowly missed out on pole position on SaturdayCredit: AFP

But while that lap at the Marina Bay Circuit was faultless, in Spain Hamilton was made to work for it, having seen Red Bull’s Max Verstappen go quickest in Q2.

Hamilton added: “Final practice was looking really good. We had been strong all weekend but we made some changes and I had some anxiety about it.

“I always make changes but it is a bit of a gamble and as soon as we got out on track, I immediately knew it was the wrong one.

“That is why I was behind in qualifying at the start and why I was making changes. Sometimes you do a great quali from the get-go but I was slightly behind.

“By Q3 I knew this was all I had, so I made the best of it. It was a clean and precise lap and that’s why I am ahead of Max, and I am proud of it.”

Verstappen showed appreciation for Hamilton's performance

Verstappen showed appreciation for Hamilton’s performanceCredit: Getty

Hamilton and Verstappen will do battle once again on Sunday

Hamilton and Verstappen will do battle once again on SundayCredit: AFP

Hamilton’s former McLaren team-mate, Jenson Button said: “Lewis has always been absolutely stunning when it comes to qualifying.

“From his first race in Formula One until now, it has definitely been a strength of his.

“It’s in the race that he has improved over the years, his understanding of a race car and getting from A to B as quick as possible.”

Verstappen will line up in P2 having missed out on pole by just 0.036 seconds.

He added: “Second for us is good for us. We know Mercedes are good around here.

“It is a long run to Turn One and if we have a good start and the pace is there, I hope we can have a good race.”

Hamilton’s team-mate Valttier Bottas will line up in third on the grid ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc while Brit Lando Norris qualified a disappointing ninth while Gerorge Russell will start 15th.

Meanwhile, Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda could be in hot water with his AlphaTauri team after saying he has a “question mark” over how his car compares to team-mate, Pierre Gasly.

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