Hamilton's pole lap "not from this world" - Mercedes boss Wolff
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton produced a pole position lap for the Styrian Grand Prix that was from another planet.
In atrocious wet conditions at the Red Bull Ring, Hamilton beat Red Bull's Max Verstappen to top spot on the grid by an astonishing 1.2 seconds, the ninth time in the last 13 wet qualifying sessions he has claimed pole.
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable performance in taking what was also the 89th pole of his F1 career, Wolff said: "Very rarely you see performances that are just not from this world.
"When you look at the onboard of his lap, he was balancing the car on the edge, aquaplaning, throttle control was incredible, and I can't remember [when] we have seen 1.2 seconds between first and second."
As to why there was such a difference between Hamilton and the rest, Wolff added: "I think driver and car merge into one where a perfect car with the tyres in the right window and perfect driveability on the power unit comes together with skill and the intelligence of a racing driver, and only then you see these kinds of performances."
The lap was reminiscent of Hamilton's pole position performance for the 2018 Singapore Grand Prix that has been rated as one the greatest of all time.
Given the conditions in Austria, for Hamilton, it was as near to perfection as he can recall.
"Honestly, it was a fantastic lap, the last one," said Hamilton.
"The importance of managing your time out there, managing your battery pack, knowing when to use the few laps you have on the qualifying modes, creating the gap, not making a mistake when it counts, that last lap for me was as close to perfect as I could get it in those conditions.
"Considering it was raining even more, it makes me even happier knowing I went a little bit quicker that last time.
"It definitely takes me back to times like Silverstone 2008 [when Hamilton won the British GP by 68 seconds in wet conditions] when you're really at one with the car and you're not fazed at all.
"You have to be very dynamic with your driving style from corner to corner because the wet patches arrive, the puddles are shifting about with the cars that are driving ahead of you, which is a massive challenge.
"I'm smiling under this mask, so yeah, super happy."
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