This weekend Lewis Hamilton could match Ayrton Senna’s record of 65 Formula 1 pole positions, however the milestone does not add extra pressure to the Mercedes driver, but instead he is honoured by the comparison to his boyhood idol.
There is a certain poignancy to the fact that the record can be attained by Hamilton at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, where the late Brazilian legend won no fewer than six times – a feat unlikely to be matched any time soon..
Hamilton said in an interview, “I love to watch the old onboard footage of Senna racing in Monaco – seeing him coming out of the tunnel and thinking: Hey, that’s what I do every year now!”
“And matching his qualifying record? That somehow feels very unreal and I am very honoured being up to him. But there is no pressure about that: if it happens it happens, if not then not.”
The race in Monte Carlo is the crown jewel of Formula 1, Hamilton acknowledges, “I live here, but the excitement never goes away on a race weekend. And if I drive with my normal road car or my motorbike I still sometimes can’t believe that we are really racing with F1 cars here, with speeds of 200 miles an hour! And there are only 20 of us who can do it! To be honest, we could have this race every weekend.”
“This race is so special and so impossible to predict – like the phenomenon of a unicorn – so it is a rather rhetorical question. Probably I could have won two or three more, but in the end I am happy with the ones that I have – especially with how these two wins came in 2008 and 2016.”
“These were real ‘quality races’ – really earned. But sure I want more!” added Hamilton.