Lewis Hamilton 'digs deeper than ever' for crucial Monaco GP pole
Watch Sunday's Monaco GP at 2.10pm on Sky Sports F1, build-up from 12.30pm.
By James Galloway in Monaco
Last Updated: 25/05/19 8:26pm
A jubilant but emotional Lewis Hamilton admitted he had to "dig deeper than ever" to wrestle the all-important Monaco GP pole position away from Valtteri Bottas.
In a difficult week for Mercedes in the wake of Niki Lauda's passing, Hamilton and Bottas went head-to-head in Q3 with their W10 excelling around Monaco's famously narrow confines.
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Bottas held the advantage by 0.2s after the first laps but in a final effort Hamilton described as being "on the ragged edge the whole way", the world champion brilliantly won out by just under a tenth.
"Yes, that's what I'm talking about!" Hamilton yelled over the radio, before scaling a fence to celebrate with fans.
Despite holding the record for F1 pole positions, Hamilton had only qualified first in Monaco once in 12 previous attempts and he said: "I love it here, it's my home, and this is the race every driver dreams of from being a kid.
"It doesn't matter how many times you come here, it's still a dream. You still put in absolutely everything you've got.
"All the work they've put back in, the factory have worked tirelessly, so we've arrived with a great car and then it has been a great battle with Valtteri. He's been quick all weekend and all these races up until now.
"Just the desire and the will to get this pole, it means so much to me. I had to dig deeper than ever and I'm so glad that I can get that deep. The lap was beautiful and I feel amazing, so I'm just super grateful."
Speaking in the later press conference, Hamilton said the tragic context of the weekend made it a particularly special achievement and front-row Mercedes lock-out.
"This is definitely one of the best poles I can remember," said Hamilton.
"Obviously we've had lots of success over the years but I can't really remember one that means as much as this one, seeing as it's been such a difficult week for the whole team. And personally it's been quite a difficult weekend.
"We've been really trying to hold each other up and deliver for Niki."
Hamilton, who had not claimed pole since the season-opener in Australia, heads the fourth successive all-Mercedes front row. Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel share row two for Sunday's race.
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Sky F1's Monaco GP schedule
Sunday, May 26
12.30pm: Monaco GP Pit Lane Live! (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
1.30pm: Monaco GP On The Grid Live! (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
2.10pm: THE MONACO GRAND PRIX LIVE! (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
4pm: Monaco GP Paddock Live!
4.30pm: THE INDY 500 LIVE! (Race starts at 5.45pm)
9pm: Monaco GP highlights
10pm: Monaco GP best bits
10.30pm: Monaco GP race replay
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