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2019 F1

This one’s for Niki – Hamilton

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2019 Monaco Grand Prix pole marked 85th of the Lewis Hamilton and second of the season. The Brit was rapid to dedicate his latest achievement to friend and Mercedes’ non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, who died earlier this week.

Hamilton beat Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on the last lap of qualifying Q3, and he is targeting his 77th career win in F1 today, which will feature more tributes to Niki.

Niki, who died earlier this week, played a key role in getting Hamilton to join Mercedes in 2013 after he left McLaren.

“This is definitely one of the best poles,” said Hamilton, who denied Bottas a fourth successive top slot with a last lap 0.086 quicker than the Finn’s best effort around the metal-fenced streets.

“This one’s for Niki,” added the defending world champion, who leads Bottas by seven points in the standings.

“It’s been such a difficult week for the whole team and personally, so at such a difficult circuit it’s amazing how we’ve turned up as a team and continuing to take strides forward to develop collectively and get stronger and improve on our performance weekend in, weekend out.

“I’m so, so proud of everyone but to have a little bit of a cloud over us this weekend we’ve really tried to lift each other up for Niki.” The Brit said

“This is the race every driver dreams of when you are a child, you put absolutely everything you have got into it,” Hamilton added.

“We have a great package and all drivers, whether their car is fast or slow, you take it to its limit, it’s like wrestling a bull. The lap was hard, I just managed to pull it off.

“All the guys in the factory have put in everything. Valtteri has been quick all weekend. To get this pole, it means so much, I had to dig deeper than ever.”

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