‘What could have been’: Daniel Ricciardo rues mistake as Lewis Hamilton makes history

Lewis Hamilton has made history yet again, becoming the first driver in Formula One history to claim 100 pole positions at the Spanish Grand Prix.

It’s yet another incredible record for Hamilton in his unparalleled career, where he is hunting for a record eighth world title.

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He will start alongside Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished second ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The front row of the grid is important as 28 of the 31 races at the track have gone to a driver on the front row of the grid.

But the McLaren’s will start with Daniel Ricciardo in seventh, while Lando Norris is in ninth – Ricciardo’s third qualifying win over his teammate in the season’s fourth race.

Ricciardo cost himself a shot at a higher position but as the last one out of the garage in Q3, he was stuck behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and didn’t make it back around to take his flying lap.

Missed it by that much.Source:Getty Images

Luckily, it didn’t cost him too much as only Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc improved on his first lap, pushing Ricciardo down from sixth to seventh, while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez moved into eighth after spinning out on his first lap.

While Ricciardo could have potentially improved his position, at least the error wasn’t too costly.

But speaking after the session, Ricciardo was still ruing the missed opportunity.

Asked if it was a good day because he out qualified Norris, Ricciardo said: “It’s funny, everyone’s interpretation is as long as … the narrative, for sure, is that it's taken time to get up to speed.

“On that as well, Lando has been driving exceptionally well so these two factors have been challenging I guess. From that note, it’s been a more positive day.

“In saying that, there’s maybe a bit of a what could have been because we missed the last run. We ran out of time so it was a bit of a Monza scenario a couple of years ago. So I think it was a tenth to fourth and I think a tenth is always there, especially when I’m still trying to get on top of the car so maybe that was there. But nonetheless a much better day and happier, even from yesterday and obviously a week ago. But progress, progress means positivity.”

Former F1 champion Jenson Button said Ricciardo’s main issue had been his race pace, where he had ended up a long way behind Norris.

At least he was still smiling.Source:Getty Images

Ricciardo had a much better day on Saturday than he did on Friday after a sneaky upgrade fell flat with Ricciardo well back in 15th.

Saturday wasn’t perfect for the McLaren’s with Lando Norris landing in the gravel in P3, but ultimately finished sixth, while Ricciardo was eighth in the final practice session of the weekend.

The qualifying session was delayed for 10 minutes after a crash in the Formula 3 race earlier meant a barrier had to be repaired.

Ricciardo had a good run on his first lap in Q1 but Norris didn’t – held up by a traffic jam as he got back to the starting line, losing plenty of time in his final sector.

But Norris stunned, going the fastest for the first session, showing the speed the McLaren has at its disposal.

While neither was up as far in the Q2, both McLaren’s qualified for Q3 with Norris sixth and Ricciardo eighth, with his late lap knocking both Aston Martin’s out of qualifying.

‘Astonishing’ F1 history made in Spain

The world was stunned but not surprised by Hamilton’s achievement as the first man to bring up a century of pole positions.

To put it in context, only Sebastian Vettel, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher have more than 50 poles with Schumacher next best on 68.

Sky Sports David Croft added: ““Five constructors have achieved 100 poles in F1, Lewis Hamilton is the first driver to achieve it all by himself.”

Only Ferrari’s 228, McLaren’s 155, Williams and Mercedes’ 128 and Lotus’ 107 poles are ahead of Hamilton, such is the incredible achievement.

What an achievement for Hamilton.Source:AFP

Now beat that every other F1 driver.Source:AFP

The Brit said he couldn’t believe the achievement.

“I can’t believe we’re at 100 and it’s down to the men and women who are back at the factory who are continuously raising the bar and never giving up,” he said. “The support that I have, it’s a dream for me to work with these guys and the journey that we have been on has been immense.

“Who would have thought at the end of 2012 when we made the decision to partner we would be qualifying at 100. So I feel very humble and very grateful. I’m ecstatic, like it’s my first.”

He even took to Twitter, writing “I can’t even begin to describe how this feels.

100 POLES! I can’t even begin to describe how this feels. I can’t thank the team and everyone back at the factory enough for everything they’ve done to help us secure this incredible milestone. I feel so humbled and very grateful. This feels like my first win all over again 🙌🏾💯 pic.twitter.com/KkCgShdhq2

Social media went nuts for Hamilton, although some people couldn’t hand it to him even though he nabbed another record.

1039 FIA F1 World Championship events.

100 poles for Lewis Hamilton

Astonishing really #F1

100 pole positions – incredible achievement and still going. Most successful British sportsman of all time! Go Sir @LewisHamilton – looking forward to a great race tomorrow. https://t.co/28Rw0kbUAW

Lewis Hamilton 100 pole positions. Brits will rue the day he retires. Mark my words. Hero.

100 poles for @LewisHamilton … he’ll get 100 wins soon too … an eighth @F1 world title and then drop the mic … setting records that we won’t seen beaten in our lifetime. #incredible

I'm starting to think Lewis Hamilton is entering the conversation of Top 5 all time F1 drivers….. from England. https://t.co/vHHobSvVg9

Spanish Grand Prix Starting Grid

Row 1: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

Row 2: Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

Row 3: Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

Row 4: Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

Row 5: Lando Norris (McLaren) – Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

Row 6: Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

Row 7: Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

Row 8: George Russell (Williams) – Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

Row 9: Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) – Mick Schumacher (Haas)

Row 10: Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – Nikita Mazepin (Haas)

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