Lewis Hamilton the 'class of the field' with dominant Styrian GP pole
Hamilton took pole for Sunday's Styrian GP ahead of Verstappen
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 11/07/20 5:24pm
Lewis Hamilton's qualifying performance for the Styrian GP was hailed as "extraordinary" by Sky F1's Jenson Button, after an on-form six-time champion beat his rivals by over a second in Austria's soaking conditions.
Less than a week after falling 13 points behind Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the Spielberg season-opener, Hamilton mastered the heavy rain at the same track to take a dominant pole position.
"What a lap," said Sky F1's Martin Brundle as Hamilton improved on his final effort to move 1.2 seconds clear of closest challenger Max Verstappen.
"The class of the field."
What made Hamilton's display all the more impressive was that the rain was falling heavier during Q3, with Verstappen spinning on his last lap.
But the Englishman has always proved he can flourish in the wet conditions, having taken pole in the three previous rain-affected qualifying sessions (Britain, Italy 2017, Hungary 2018).
"Lewis' lap was extraordinary," said Button, the 2009 world champion and Hamilton's former team-mate.
"It's such tricky conditions because you're not really going by memory so much, you're really thinking in the moment.
"Every single white line is throwing you off balance, you've got rivers running across the circuit in some places, you've got lakes in others and other areas where you can take advantage of the grip.
"It's about feeling the circuit through your backside, and not your eyes. Lewis is really good at that."
Hamilton: Last lap was 'so nice'
Hamilton admitted he felt "quite far off" heading into qualifying after a disappointing Friday practice in Austria, finishing only sixth in P2.
But his mood certainly changed a day later.
"I felt amazing in the car today," he told Sky F1. "Yesterday was a difficult day, particularly in Practice Two. It's difficult to swallow when you have issues and you're not quite sure what they are.
"We understood them last night and then coming today with the rain, it's a much, much different scenario.
"I'm just so happy with the job the team did and the focus was sweet, it was really good. The last lap was so nice."
The new Formula 1 season is underway in dramatic style on Sky Sports F1 and continues this week with the second race at the Red Bull Ring - the Styrian GP. Find out more & subscribe.