Lewis, many congratulations. That looked very hard-earned out there today. Can you just tell us what happened?
LH: Generally it was quite a difficult qualifying session, for everyone, with the track conditions. I was grateful that I got my third lap in on the first run in Q3. I was pushing for that bit extra in the next run and just locked the rears, so the car snapped around – a bit similar to what happened last year at Turn Two. I’m not sure why – maybe I’ve got big feet…
Did you fear, once you’d locked the rears and you were off, that you’d lost pole?
LH: I wasn’t too particularly concerned with it at the time. I was just trying to get the car going and look after it – that was the most concerning for me. Obviously I had been backwards and I was in seventh gear or something like that, standing still, so I was trying to look after that. But naturally, shortly afterwards, I was kind of like “you know, I probably lost it there”.
Difficult conditions and what looked like a difficult weekend for you until that point. How satisfying is it to turn that around into pole?
LH: Well, it was really quite a bad qualifying session all around for me. I was three or four tenths off Nico in each session and on each run. I just didn’t have the confidence in the balance I had at the time – and the temperature of the tyres and the brakes. So, I’m really grateful that I at least got one decent Q3 lap.
The team got a 1-2 here last year – but are you expecting more of a fight in the race?
LH: Yeah, Ferrari have really shown some great pace this weekend, as have the Williams. So that means that tomorrow’s going to be a tough race. I don't think the tyres are going to be too much of a problem for everyone but every little bit of time will count tomorrow.
You’re now tied on 45 poles with Sebastian. Does it means anything to you to beat him and maybe that’s a separate race for you two?
LH: I’m very fortunate that I’ve had a great car for the last two years to have been able to get the poles and raise the amount I’ve had. I’d much rather have his World Championships than the pole positions, so I’m working towards that!