With the Monaco Grand Prix only days away, Lewis Hamilton's most recent performance suggests he has the means to equal the 65 career pole positions achieved by his own childhood hero Ayrton Senna.
Hamilton broke the track record previously set by Daniel Ricciardo during his practise laps ahead of the weekend's race.
Ricciardo's record of 1.13.622, set in 2016, was broken by Hamilton's time of 1.13.425.
While the British driver should be encouraged by this recent achievement, the question is whether he can repeat such a performance on Sunday.
After a disappointing display in Sochi back in April, Hamilton was able to regain form in Spain, winning the race and taking pole position off of Vettel in the process.
Following his encouraging times in practise, Hamilton was aware of the challenges posed by the winding Monaco track. The track itself is known for challenging bends, making it one of the slowest F1 races of the season.
Speaking before his practise, Hamilton was restrained in his remarks: “The most important thing is that you have to learn to walk before you run.
“You have to build up to the pace so that, by the time you work up to that second run in Q3, you’re at 100 percent.”
The lack of bravado may come as a result of Hamilton's current standing, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel holding a six point lead over him after the five races.
The German recorded a practise time only 0.196 seconds slower than Hamilton's, with hopes to bring Ferrari a win in Monaco for the first time since Michael Schumacher's 2001 victory.
However, come the second practise session, Vettel was a different animal, and he then broke the fastest lap record when he posted a time of 1:12.720.
Anything Hamilton can do, Vettel can do better.
Other racers displayed plenty of prowess on the historic track.
Jenson Button, standing in for teammate Fernando Alonso while he competes in the Indy 500, was able to set a time 1.529 off the pace. Despite this, his 35 laps were pleasingly trouble-free, especially considering Button has raced since last November.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen took third place, with Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas and Ricciardo taking fourth and fifth respectively.
The famous course consists of 78 laps, each at 2.074 miles long.
With Hamilton looking focused ahead of what could be a meaningful victory for him, the pressure is on Vettel to keep his closest competitor at bay.News Now - Sport News