Lewis Hamilton has claimed his first ever pole position around the Suzuka Circuit, beating his rivals in a session where Mercedes was a step ahead of the rest of the grid. Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas claimed second, making it the first one-two qualifying finish for Mercedes since Azerbaijan earlier this year.
Hamilton has had pole position at the Fuji Speedway but can now tick Suzuka off his list. Speaking to interviewer and former teammate Jenson Button after the session, the three-times world champion admitted that he was adamant he took pole position today.
"It's been a really good day and every lap was fantastic," he said. "You [Jenson] were rapid here, Nico was rapid here, I never really got a great balance in the past so I never really did great in qualifying. So to finally get the balance behind me with the great work of my engineers and the great timing from all the mechanics, I finally got on track and did the time.
"The car is crazy here, I wish you could feel it. I'm running out of opportunities to get this pole so I made sure I made it stick today. Valtteri did a great job, obviously he's got the penalty at the start, but still he's got a great opportunity in the race to get up there with us."
Hamilton went on to speak about the ability of the 2017 cars have around the iconic Japanese Circuit. Last year's pole time, set by Nico Rosberg, was a 1:30.647, which appears unrushed when compared to the 2017 figure, a 1:27.319.
"It’s just incredible to come here with this car. This track is one of the greatest circuits and with this car it’s mind-blowing. It’s insane the speeds this car is throwing us around inside and the way you can throw the car around is like the craziest roller-coaster ride."
Would you like to stay up to date with the latest Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 news from GPtoday? Activate free push notifications and be the first to know!