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100 Pole Positions For Lewis Hamilton In F1

Lewis Hamilton with his trophy
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Sir Lewis Hamilton added another feather to the illustrious cap with his 100th pole position in Formula One, edging out Max Verstappen at the Spanish GP.

The 36-year-old Briton, now in his 15th season in F1 took his first pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix in his debut season as a 22  year old, in 2007, up against teammate Fernando Alonso. Ever since he’s been noticed in the world of motorsport, Lewis Hamilton has been known to be one of the greatest over a single lap and since 2007, he has gone on to eclipse some of the greatest names in the sport including Ayrton Senna (65 pole positions), arguably the greatest qualifier the sport had seen before Lewis, and also Michael Schumacher (68 poles).

“In 2007 that was special and it felt amazing that I was able to do what I did back then. Here we are 100 poles later and it still feels young, I feel good to keep going,” he said. “It is crazy that it’s 100 but it felt like one of the first. I don’t feel like I can compute it right now, it is such a huge number. It’s hard to express just how crazy it is and how amazing it is.”


Lewis after his first pole position, way back in 2007 with McLaren
Lewis after his first pole position, way back in 2007 with McLaren
[Source: McLaren]

Hamilton scorched onto the F1 scene with 6 pole positions in his debut season in 2007 and ever since, just like race victories, Lewis Hamilton has remarkably scored a pole position in every one of his 15 F1 seasons. His best season in terms of qualifying results came in 2016 with 12 poles before claiming 11 in 2017 and 2018 too. On his way to his 7th F1 World Championship title in 2020, Hamilton had pole in 10 of the 17 races and already has 2 from the 4 races in 2021.

For our F1 newbies out there, the pole-sitter is the driver that has qualified for a Grand Prix in pole position, at the very front of the starting grid, often giving you a competitive advantage when the race unravels on a Sunday. Qualifying is traditionally contested on the Saturday of a Grand Prix weekend to determine the drivers’ positions on the starting grid and Sir Lewis Hamiton is by some margin, the absolute king of Saturdays in Formula 1. He took his 69th pole, to pass Schumacher, at the 2017 Italian GP and has still continued to dominate. 

Lewis Hamilton didn’t know how to feel or what to say when asked about becoming the first driver to reach 100 Formula 1 pole positions in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. And who can blame him? To put the numbers into perspective, Hamilton now has 100 pole positions in just 269 attempts over 15 seasons of F1 with McLaren and now Mercedes! 

The constant criticism is that Lewis has always been in a car good enough to take pole positions, but the same is true of any F1 driver with incredible success in the sport and a simple look at the lap at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2021 will tell you that with Lewis, it isn’t just about the machinery. He pipped Max Verstappen to the line by 36 thousandths of a second –  that’s ⅓ of a blink of an eye! Lewis has the ability to pull out an incredibly quick lap, when it matters in Q3. “He’s just operating on this extremely unseen level,” said team principal Toto Wolff of Hamilton’s achievement. “Today the car wasn’t perfect, and he just edged the other ones out…The 100 poles is incredible. [Mercedes’ trackside engineering director] Andrew Shovlin was just saying that if you put all his pole laps together in a video it would last two hours. So that just shows me what he has achieved.”

The question of whether he is the greatest qualifier will always remain with names like Ayrton Senna, Jim Clark and others in contention, but this landmark is further proof that we are witnessing one of the all-time greats that is also on his way to an unprecedented 8th F1 title in 2021 and could hit 100 race wins along the way. 

1039 FIA F1 World Championship events in the history of the sport…

100 poles for Lewis Hamilton

Sir Lewis Hamilton – we salute you!