Lewis Hamilton has dedicated his most recent pole position to Niki Lauda, who passed away earlier this week prior to the Monaco Grand Prix.
Hamilton got the better of teammate Valtteri Bottas during qualifying around the Circuit de Monaco, beating the Finn by less than a tenth of a second.
Mercedes were favorites heading into the weekend, given its strong form so far in 2019, taking five consecutive one-two finishes.
Hamilton says that his second Monaco pole is one of the 'best I can remember' amid a difficult weekend for the Mercedes team following the loss of Lauda, who worked as its non-executive chairman.
"This is definitely one of the best poles I can remember.” said Hamilton. "Obviously, we’ve had a lot of success over the years but I can’t really remember one that means as much as this one.
"It’s been a really difficult week for the entire team and for me, personally, it’s been a difficult weekend.
“The goal this weekend was always to get pole as it’s such a difficult circuit. It’s amazing that we’ve turned up as a team and taking strides forward collectively and get strong and improving our performance weekend in, weekend out.
"I’m so proud of everyone, but to have a little bit of cloud over us this weekend meant we really really tried to lift each other up and deliver for Niki.”
Hamilton also praised Bottas, stating that he had to 'dig deep' to beat the 29-year-old who is currently his closest championship rival.
“Valtteri has been a sensational job all weekend. FP1 & FP2 was good for me and then for me in FP3, it didn’t feel as good as on Thursday.
"I had to dig deep and turn the car around and Valtteri did a great flying lap first time out. I was struggling to get the first laptime on the tyres so I did a prep lap for my first lap and the second run wasn’t very good.
"Naturally, I had to gain two tenths because Valtteri was ahead and I thought Valtteri would be up. I was throwing the car around, and I’m pretty sure I touched a few barriers on the way around. But that’s the only way to do it around Monaco.
"I haven’t had a huge amount of success here over the years so it’s never given me quite the perfect lap but this was as close as I could get to it. This one is for Niki.”