Happy Hamilton back on pole in Spain

Sat May 14, 2016 10:25am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton looked forward to ending Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg's seven-race winning streak after denying the Formula One leader pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Briton's stunning performance, with a fastest lap of one minute 22.000 seconds on a sunny afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya, put a smile back on his face after power unit problems in the past two races.

"Hopefully everything comes together," he said of Sunday's race. "I've been working on the starts...I will try and get off on the right foot and tomorrow could be the day."

Rosberg qualified second, 0.280 slower, and has a real fight on his hands if he is to become only the third driver after compatriot Michael Schumacher and Britain's Nigel Mansell to win the first five races of a season.

"Fortunately it's the race that counts," said the disappointed German, who leads Hamilton by 43 points overall. "There are still a couple of opportunities tomorrow, for sure.

"The start, for example, and then strategy wise. It's not going to be an easy race tomorrow so I will try and take my chances there."

The pole was the 52nd of Hamilton's career, and third of the season. For Mercedes, it was their 11th in a row.

Hamilton considered it to be three out of three in real terms since the champion was ruled out of qualifying in China due to a power unit failure and missed the final phase in Russia for the same reason.   Continued...

Formula One - Spanish Grand Prix - Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack, Montmelo, Spain - 14/5/16 Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain reacts after qualifying REUTERS/Juan Medina