Hamilton: Abu Dhabi pole feels like my first

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Lewis Hamilton says that, due to the pole drought he’s gone through since July, his 88th pole position, feels like his first.

The Mercedes driver eased to P1 in Saturday’s qualifying in Abu Dhabi, going nearly two tenths quicker than team-mate Valtteri Bottas to take his fifth pole of the season.

“It feels longer than the German Grand Prix, and if I’m really honest, I don’t even understand how I got the German Grand Prix pole!” He said as per Motorsport.com.

“It’s been really hard because you come back from the break, and the competition’s been spectacular, all the drivers have been doing an amazing job.

 “I don’t think my qualifying has been terrible, but it’s just not been at my usual standard perhaps. Of course it is incredibly satisfying to know that we put the work in.

“Honestly [88 poles] it’s really strange, it honestly feels like the first. I don’t know why. It feels super fresh, maybe because it’s been so long since earlier on in the season.”

The Brit took provisional pole in his first Q3 run before then improving in his final lap.

“It’s not been the easiest in terms of qualifying throughout the year and it’s been something we’ve just been chipping away at,” Hamilton added.

“Yesterday was a little bit difficult, I had to re-centre myself for today. The best thing is when you get to Q3 and you pull out two good laps.

“I think my first lap it felt special, and then the second one obviously was an improvement.”

Bottas meanwhile, is optimistic about his chances tomorrow, despite starting from the back of the grid.

“We seem very competitive this weekend,” he said.

“It is good to see as a team that in qualifying we were strong today. It has been maybe a bit of a weak point lately for us, so we’re definitely on form.

“That is promising for tomorrow as Sunday’s always seem to be good days for us. We’ll go for it tomorrow, maximum attack. I’m looking forward to it, it should be fun”

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