• Australian GP - Mercedes

Hamilton: Toughest I've ever had to drive

ESPN Staff
March 15, 2014 « 'Everything is on the edge' - Rosberg | 'It wasn't looking like this a few weeks ago' - Ricciardo »
Lewis Hamilton equalled Nigel Mansell's record for pole positions © Sutton Images

After securing pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton said qualifying in Melbourne was one of the "toughest" sessions he has ever driven in.

The Mercedes driver will start the season-opener at Albert Park ahead of Daniel Ricciardo after he equalled Nigel Mansell's record of 32 career pole positions. But in wet conditions and with the added torque of the new V6 turbo Mercedes engine he had to work for it.

"It was very tough. Today was the first day at least for myself in the wet with this car. So much more power, so much more wheelspin. It was the toughest I've ever had to drive in in the wet in terms of how difficult it was," Hamilton said.

Ricciardo was briefly on pole position as he delighted his home Australian crowd, but Hamilton came across the line to set the quickest time, and the 2008 world champion was full of praise for the Red Bull driver.

"To be up here it's a great showing for the team, and it's great to see Ricciardo up here as well in his first grand prix with Red Bull.

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