2014 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING-
HAMILTON ON POLE RICCIARDO P2 AND ROSBERG P3-
• Lewis scored the 100th pole position for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One, a record dating back to 1954
• It was also the 32nd pole of Lewis´ career, putting him equal with Nigel Mansell and one behind Jim Clark
• Nico qualified in third place, just five-hundredths behind the second placed car of Daniel Ricciardo
It´s been an interesting weekend so far here in Melbourne. Qualifying was a lot harder for everyone with the tricky conditions and it was a real challenge out there today. We were on the edge with the tyres and it was difficult to know which way to go at times. It´s the first time I´ve driven the car on the limit in the wet, but it felt great and I´m so happy with the job the team has done. To be on pole here today is a fantastic result for us. It was great fun and I´m really looking forward to the race tomorrow. It´s going to be tough, but we´ll do our best and see what happens. I am very proud to have scored pole number 100 for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One. I have only driven with Mercedes power since my debut in 2007 and the whole Mercedes team has done an incredible job meeting the challenge of these new rules. It´s just as special to equal Nigel´s record of pole positions for a British driver. I owe it to the great people I´ve worked with throughout my career.
“It was exciting out there – the weather definitely added to the mix and the whole session went well. Q1 looked like it was going okay for us and then, when the rain fell, it’s the first time we’ve driven these cars on the limit in wet conditions. It was tricky, but at the same time a lot of fun and it was nice to always be up there. The engineer was always on the radio saying the pace was good and that we were P1, P2 P3 and in the battle for the pole position, so it was definitely a really nice first qualifying session with the team. I’m happy for us to have a front row start – it wasn’t looking like this a few weeks ago, so I’m pretty pleased right now.”
That was a really tricky qualifying session out there this evening. Starting from third place on the grid is not the optimum but okay for me. I know that I have a good race car and that makes me quite confident. With a good start, I should have a nice chance of scoring a strong result. It will be a very interesting race because fuel consumption and tyre wear will be on the edge. So there might be some surprises tomorrow.
That was the kind of qualifying session where mistakes are so easy to make – and the team delivered. We got the cars on track at the right time and coped well with the changing weather conditions. For the final run in Q3, both drivers chose to run full wet tyres as we were not sure how quickly the circuit was drying. Lewis did a great job to claim pole position with his final lap, while Nico was also P1 when he crossed the line at the end of his last run, although he finished up P3. After so much hard work to reach this point, it´s good that we have come through a tricky session safely and in strong starting positions. We are also proud to have taken the 100th pole for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One, which is a nice milestone. But the points are won on Sunday and we know that it will be a tough race in terms of fuel consumption and reliability. We will leave no stone unturned overnight to make sure we are in the best possible situation for tomorrow.