Lewis Hamilton missed out on a 98th pole position in Formula 1, calling his final Q3 lap at Imola “pretty p*ss poor”.
Hamilton was quickest in first and final practice on Saturday morning but was denied the chance to convert that into a 10th pole position of the season after being pipped to the post by team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
The Finn managed to edge out Hamilton 0.097 seconds to clinch the 15th pole position of his career and Hamilton’s assessment of his final Q3 lap was an honest one.
“Valtteri did a great job and it was a pretty p*ss poor lap from myself,” Hamilton laughed.
“These things happen and you can’t always get it perfect. But what a beautiful place we are in here in Italy. The track is unbelievable.
“I’m grateful to be here and grateful for the performance we have. It really is remarkable and it feels better here than it did in the last race [in Portugal].
“It was a real challenge out there but I enjoyed it.”
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Asked about the race on Sunday, Hamilton replied: “Well Red Bull were very strong on their race runs.
“But what is unfortunate with this track is that it is so beautiful to drive but I’m pretty certain you are going to see a pretty boring race tomorrow.
“You can overtake on this quite long straight but it is quite narrow. But once you get into Turn 1, it is going to be a train from there.
“There’s no single place to overtake anywhere else. It’s going to be challenge for the people following.
“The DRS going into Turn 1 will hopefully give some opportunity for people.
“But for us, you will see me and Valtteri are within half a tenth of each other so to have an opportunity of overtaking I think I’ve got to gain something like two seconds in speed to the car ahead to have a chance.
“Nonetheless, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got and fingers crossed.”
Heading into the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Hamilton holds a 77-point lead in the World Championship standings over Valtteri Bottas.
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