And he admitted he was shocked by his own performance as he posted two laps faster than Vettel’s record-breaking effort from 2018.
“It was incredible, that session,” said Hamilton. “It was getting better and better. But it’s really been learning to exploit [the track].
“The track’s a bit different in the sense of the run-off areas, so you can really pick up the gas a lot earlier, focussing on the exits around here is naturally important. I didn’t make any steps on all the laps, but the Q3 run-one lap was ace. And I was thinking ‘there’s probably no way I’m going to beat that’.
“Turn One has probably been a weakness for me the last few years [but] I just got stronger and stronger through there. I saw that I was up out of Turn One and I just kept eeking away throughout the lap. So that was a very, very good lap.”
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