Hamilton
Credit: Mercedes / LAT Images

Lewis Hamilton was pleased that the race officials for the Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix allowed qualifying to go ahead in wet conditions.

Qualifying on Saturday was delayed due to torrential rain conditions, but the session eventually got underway 45 minutes later than scheduled, despite the wet conditions.

Once the field got out on the circuit, the session went ahead without disruption, other than for a red flag that was caused by Antonio Giovinazzi pulling off the circuit in his Alfa Romeo, after a collision with the barriers at the final corner.

Hamilton went on to secure his 89th F1 pole position by an impressive 1.2s, and although he admitted conditions were on the limit, he was glad the session was allowed to go ahead.

Speaking in Saturday’s FIA press conference after qualifying, the reigning world champion said: “The officials definitely have a difficult job the majority of the time and particularly on a day like this, knowing when to go and when to choose not to let the cars run – but I’m grateful they did.

“Just as we came to qualifying. Obviously it was drying up – or it wasn’t raining for a while – and just as everyone got in the car it started to rain again. And so we obviously had that bit of a pause.

“But once we got going it was fine for the first session. Then it did get worse – but I’m glad that they allowed us to stay out.

“It was definitely on the limit – but that’s racing!”

The six-time world champion also added that being out on the circuit in wet conditions is “special”, and that Saturday’s conditions are the hardest to drive in.

“I’m glad they didn’t take that away from us because today, it’s so special being out there, it’s so difficult.

“I don’t know how it comes across on the cameras but it is the hardest conditions that we ever drive in.

“Just one small lapse of concentration and you’re off. And it can be big or small.

“More chance of it being a big one. So, yeah, I’m grateful for that.”

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