Hamilton took 'risk' before pole lap

By on Saturday, July 2, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton says he took a risk by backing off on his penultimate lap during a wet/dry Q3 session at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton secured pole position, the 54th of his Formula 1 career, with his final lap of the session, to beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.

Hamilton backed off to give himself space ahead to Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and conceded that he was fortunate to avoid yellow flags or any other incidents.

"It was a really fun session," Hamilton said.

"It's quite incredible how it dries up so quickly here. It's like driving through fog at some stages.

"I've never driven here in the rain before, and the new track surface was very, very slippery, but it was drying up corner-by-corner, so at the end it was just about getting the last lap.

"My previous lap was good, but if I had finished it, I would have been right behind Ricciardo, so I backed off, which was a big risk, as if there was a yellow I might not have got pole.

"But I took a risk and fortunately it paid off and I'm happy with it."

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