Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says winning this year’s pole trophy is “not particularly exciting”.
Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, introduced the award last year, although the rationale behind it remains fairly indistinct since it does not come with any further incentive for the drivers.
Hamilton stormed to his 10th pole position of the season at Spa-Francorchamps one week ago. With eight grand prix weekends left in the current campaign, the championship leader is now out of reach from title rival Nico Rosberg in that field.
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Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - GP of Belgium 2015
Image credit: Daimler AG
“The pole trophy is not particularly exciting but getting poles is definitely a great thing,” said Hamilton. “Naturally winning the world championship is the goal.
“I would give up everything else, all the poles, the pole position trophy for the world championship, so that’s really the goal. But I’m really happy with how the qualifying has gone this year. It’s been a huge step for me.”
The Briton’s nearly invincible form on Saturdays stands in stark contrast with last year, when team-mate Rosberg had the upper hand in qualifying. By claiming 11 poles to Hamilton’s seven, the German clinched the inaugural trophy, though someone apparently forgot to hand him the award.
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“I never got my trophy for last year, so don’t expect a trophy coming your way for that,” half-joked Rosberg. “Ask whoever is responsible.”
On the back of his current run, Hamilton can still break Sebastian Vettel's record for most pole positions in a single season. The German set 15 fastest times during his 2011 title-winning campaign with Red Bull.
With 48 career poles (45 for Vettel), the reigning world champion is now only 20 adrift of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.
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