• Spanish GP - Qualifying

Hamilton 'took car to limit' for pole

ESPN Staff
May 10, 2014 « Technical director Mark Smith parts company with Caterham | Hamilton beat me fair and square - Rosberg »
Lewis Hamilton was in sublime form in Q3 © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton revealed he had to dig deep to beat Nico Rosberg to pole in Spain after struggling with the car compared to Friday's practice sessions.

Hamilton had been in a world of his own on Friday but Rosberg looked to have wrestled the momentum back, topping FP3 and then going faster in Q1 and Q2. Rosberg momentarily jumped into first in Q3 but Hamilton went top on his final run to secure his fourth pole in five races.

"It's been a tough day, Nico drove really well in FP3 and in qualifying so I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get him," Hamilton said. "Right at the end I just managed to eek out everything and more from the car."

Hamilton commented on the radio during practice that overnight changes had "made the car worse" and he felt it nearly cost him pole.

"It's been a tough day, Nico drove really well in FP3 and in qualifying so I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get him. Right at the end I just managed to eek out everything and more from the car.

"Yesterday I had such a great day and was really happy with the car. Often when things are that good generally you don't want to change much, but we changed a couple of things overnight in the hope of making it a little better. It was small things, like half a millimetre here and there, so the smallest of tweaks, but today the track temperature went down.

"The car was being a real handful with lots of oversteer, and very inconsistent coming into corners. We were kind of back to square one and when you're in qualifying there's nothing you can do. In Q1 I was half of a second off Nico as I struggled to put a lap together but in the end I just did it by the skin of my teeth.

"I couldn't change anything so I had to tweak the settings a little bit and drive a little bit differently to just get the car around the lap. Obviously we are very quick but it doesn't matter how fast your car is if you don't take it to the limit."

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