Lewis Hamilton admits that he feels fantastic following his 72nd career pole position. The Briton now holds the record for the most front row starts in Formula 1, which was previously held by seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.
"I feel fantastic," he said. "I feel fresh and healthy and wish qualifying would go on longer. The last lap was not spectacular, but up until then very, very strong. The team has done an exceptionally job all weekend to filter all the data and put the car in the right place. The last lap I got caught out by a bit of a gust, but that's how it goes. But so happy to be up here, especially in front of such a great crowd."
Hamilton is chasing his fourth world title, and will claim it this weekend if Sebastian Vettel finishes in sixth place or lower, and the Brit sees out the win. However, with Vettel starting the race alongside him on the front row, Hamilton is not expecting any surprises from the German: "Unless he makes a silly mistake, which is unlikely as he's a four-time world champion, it's going to continue to the other races."
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda also spoke on Hamilton's performance, praising the 32-year old's ability. He also mentioned that it was unfortunate Valtteri Bottas missed out on securing a Mercedes one-two, but is hopeful for Sunday's prospects.
"The best. He can’t do any better. He did a perfect job," the Austrian said of Hamilton. "Ferraris close but have always been close. I’m happy. Valtteri came back this weekend. He’s on top form but unfortunately, Vettel was a couple of hundredths quicker. The way thing have been through this season, ups and downs, let’s wait and see what happens tomorrow.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing