Lewis Hamilton became only the third driver in Formula 1 history to claim 50 career pole positions after surging to top spot during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.
Hamilton headed every practice session and beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to pole position, ending the German's run of six straight Saturday triumphs.
Hamilton has now joined Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna in reaching the landmark of pole positions.
"I really have to really take my hat off to this team," he said.
"What they’ve done to raise the bar once more, in our third year, to be fighting the rest, it’s just… it inspires me and motivates me.
"I enjoyed driving the car today in qualifying – we got the set-up just right. They were some sexy laps!
"They felt so good. They just flowed, with no real mistakes. That’s all you can hope for as a driver, to always improve. That’s what we did today."
Hamilton is nonetheless wary that, with new tyre regulations set to be sampled for the first time in the race, neither ne nor Mercedes can let their guard down.
"There’s a lot of work to do tonight," he added.
"With the radio changes, there’s a lot more studying that goes on I think for all of us, in terms of remembering the sequence.
"We can’t be told if the strategy is changing throughout the race, so we kind of have to anticipate what happens.
"If they give us a different tyre we kind of have to guess, it could be two, three or whatever stops we’re doing. I’m excited. It’s a new thing. We’re all in the same boat."