Lewis Hamilton clearly hasn’t lost any of his desire to win since wrapping up the 2018 Formula One drivers’ championship in Mexico last weekend.
The Mercedes star - who now has five world titles to his name - has secured pole position at the Brazil Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas.
It’s the tenth occasion Hamilton has earned his place at the front of the grid this season, but he was certainly made work for it this time around.
His time of 1m07.281s was only 0.093s quicker than his nearest rival in Vettel, although the German is under investigation for refusing to turn off his car’s engine when called to the weighbridge during Q2.
Irrespectively, Hamilton was relieved to come out on top of what was a testing outing at Interlagos.
“That was a tough qualifying session. We didn't really know what to expect,” the 33-year-old said while still on the track.
“Ferrari are incredibly quick this weekend. I'm just really happy to be here in Brazil. I didn't know whether or not I had the pole. The last lap wasn't so good, to be honest.”
Referencing the rivalry between himself and Felipe Massa earlier in his career, he added: “It's been a crazy journey with the Brazilian fans. Over the years we have really grown to adore each other.”
While there’s no question fans around the world are very fond of Hamilton, he’s not completely immune to criticism.
The Mercedes driver may face punishment for two separate incidents involving Sergey Sirotkin and Kimi Raikkonen during qualifying.
In what could’ve resulted in a very nasty crash, the Russian had to swerve and skirt the grass on the approach to turn 11 during an out-lap after Hamilton attempted to move out of his way by jinking to the left too late.
The Brit also obstructed Raikkonen in the aftermath of his close shave with Sirotkin.
Only the video below can do justice to just how close it was to a major high-speed crash.
It’s not a good look for Hamilton - and fans are calling for officials to punish him for what they deem to be a blatant infringement...
It’s fair to say further questions will be asked of the FIA if Hamilton escapes punishment.
What do you make of the incident between Hamilton and Sirotkin? Share your opinion by leaving a comment.