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Hamilton stunned by 'unexpected' Imola pole

Hamilton stunned by 'unexpected' Imola pole

F1 News

Hamilton stunned by 'unexpected' Imola pole

Hamilton stunned by 'unexpected' Imola pole

Lewis Hamilton praised the "mad effort" of his Mercedes team after he beat both Red Bull drivers to claim the 99th pole position of his career ahead of Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The reigning champion was audibly shocked to hear he had claimed top spot on the team radio after the session, as he felt Red Bull had shown the pace in practice to be well ahead.

In the post-session interview Hamilton said: "The day has been great obviously. I definitely didn't expect us to be ahead of two Red Bulls. I think they have been so quick this weekend. There were times where they were six-tenths ahead!

"We didn't know where we would be but I was already feeling a lot better from the beginning this weekend, so mad respect to the team for the hard work to really narrow down the window."

Unlike in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, when Hamilton had team-mate Valtteri Bottas to partner him in the fight against the lone Red Bull of Max Verstappen, this time the is Briton alone against two cars from the rival team.

However, an error from Verstappen on his fastest lap coupled with a stellar late effort from Sergio Perez saw the Mexican secure a front-row position alongside Hamilton, relegating the Dutchman to the second-row.

Hamilton added: "I love it. I love the challenge. I think it's great. Finally, we have got the two Red Bulls there and it is definitely going to make strategy harder and it is going to be a real challenge tomorrow because they have got great race pace."

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