‘Extraordinary’ Hamilton shows his class

By Matt Morlidge

Last Updated: 11/07/20 4:51pm








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Anthony Davidson and Karun Chandhok compare Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, the top two in qualifying at the Styrian GP

Anthony Davidson and Karun Chandhok compare Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, the top two in qualifying at the Styrian GP

Lewis Hamilton’s qualifying performance for the Styrian GP was hailed as “extraordinary” by Sky F1’s Jenson Button, after the in-form, six-time champion beat his rivals by over a second in Austria’s torrential rain.

Less than a week after falling 13 points behind Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the Spielberg season-opener, Hamilton mastered the treacherous conditions at the same track to take a dominant pole position.

“What a lap,” said Sky F1’s Martin Brundle as Hamilton improved on his final lap to move 1.2 seconds clear of closest challenger Max Verstappen.

“The class of the field.”

What made Hamilton’s display all the more impressive was that the rain was falling heavier during Q3, with Verstappen spinning on his final lap.

But the Englishman has always proved he can flourish in the wet conditions, having taken pole in the three previous rain-affected qualifying sessions (Britain, Italy 2017, Hungary 2018).

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Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz claim the top three qualifying spots at Red Bull Ring

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz claim the top three qualifying spots at Red Bull Ring

“Lewis’ lap was extraordinary,” said Button, the 2009 world champion and Hamilton’s former team-mate.

“It’s such tricky conditions because you’re not really going by memory so much, you’re really thinking in the moment.

“Every single white line is throwing you off balance, you’ve got rivers running across the circuit in some places, you’ve got lakes in others and other areas where you can take advantage of the grip.

“It’s about feeling the circuit through your backside, and not your eyes. Lewis is really good at that.”

More to follow.

The new Formula 1 season is underway in dramatic style on Sky Sports F1 and continues this week with the second race at the Red Bull Ring – the Styrian GP. Find out more & subscribe.

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