Hamilton tops qualifying at Spanish GP for 100th pole

MONTMELÓ, Spain (AP) — Lewis Hamilton reached another Formula One milestone on Saturday when the British driver steered his way to a record-extending 100th pole position.

Hamilton powered his Mercedes to the top time in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix with a flying lap that beat out top rival Max Verstappen by just 0.03 seconds.

That smidgen of a second could translate into a big edge come Sunday. Hamilton will aim to maintain his dominance of the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit and increase the eight-point advantage he has over Verstappen following three races.

“Great job! That was hard work,” Hamilton told his team over the radio after shouting out to celebrate hitting the century mark.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was right behind in third, followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon in his Alpine.

Hamilton said that the 100th gives him the same satisfaction and rush as the first one did back in 2007, when he raced for McLaren. He has won 74 poles since joining Mercedes in 2013.