Lewis Hamilton says qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix was one of the best he has ever had after securing his third pole position of the year.
The McLaren driver stormed to the top spot in the final seconds of the session with a lap of 1m21.707s, the Briton the only driver to lap the Spanish track in less than 82 seconds. Hamilton, who beat Williams's Pastor Maldonado to pole, was elated with the performance.
"It was a fantastic qualifying session for me, very very happy with it – one of the best I ever had," said Hamilton. "Amazing job by the guys in the garage and thanks to guys in factory who have brought upgrades. The car feels great. It is a great day for the team I think. I really feel fantastic. I feel very, very happy.
"You can normally be happy with a position but for some reason this feels better than other pole positions because you are looking for a perfect position. It is an incredible feeling you have."
Hamilton, who is yet to win a grand prix this year, is under no illusions that the race will be easy, however.
"I am very much aware that I have incredibly tough race tomorrow with these guys who are massively quick and how tricky it is in general," he said. "It will mean a lot to me to win in Spain. It has always been a good place for me – beautiful weather and people are incredible and the support I have continues to grow year by year and it has become such a pleasure. To win where you have such a big fan base will be fantastic."
Hamilton failed to return to the pits after his final qualifying lap, a move that is likely to be investigated by the stewards as drivers are required to make their way back to the pitlane.
"I stopped on track, I don't have any idea why," he said.