Bullish Hamilton feels ‘amazing’ after taking first Austin pole

Lewis Hamilton gave himself the best chance of eating into Nico Rosberg’s World Championship lead by taking pole in Austin – his first at a track where he has won three times.

Both Mercedes drivers and fourth-place starter Max Verstappen will start on soft tires, while the rest of the top 10 will be on supersofts.

“I feel amazing,” said Hamilton. “It’s my first pole here, so it’s been many years of trying and a lot of great people have been trying to help me get that, so I’m very, very happy with today. I want to say a big thank you to all the crowd. I could hear the crowd cheering when I came across the line. The energy on that slow down lap from everyone was much, much appreciated. So I thank everyone for coming out today and I hope that tomorrow we can all provide them with a great race.

“That first sector was my best of the weekend. In all honesty, the poles that I’ve lost in the past years have all been in the first corner, mostly, so to finally come here and have a turn one in the first sector, the fastest, just shows progression which I’m really happy about.”

Hamilton is confident that things will go his way on Sunday.

“We’ve worked hard over the last couple of weeks; understanding and improving on lots of areas. It’s a great feeling to be back up here. It’s been a while since I’ve sat in this spot so I very much appreciate it and I’ll prepare the best I can for tomorrow. Got some incredible support through some friends that are here and family and the crowd, so I’ve been practicing the starts all weekend, so I feel positive about it for tomorrow.”