Hamilton produced one of the most extraordinary laps of his career to take pole for Sunday’s race.
The four-time world champion’s lap time of one minute 36.015 seconds in Q3 was one of his best ever and was 1.3 seconds faster than his previous quickest lap.
Although Hamilton was unable to improve on his second run in qualifying, he finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who will line up on the second row of the grid in third spot.
And after struggling with the ultrasofts after Q1, Hamilton admitted he was worried he would end up in the same situation as Ferrari, who were unable to get through Q2 on the ultrasofts.
“Yeah, I definitely was a little bit concerned but we were aware that we came here with the wrong tyre strategy in the sense that others had more hypers than us so we needed to get rid of a soft in P3 I think it was,” he said.
“Already from practice we weren’t best prepared. Others started on softer tyres in P1 and also in P2 and P3 is where we had that.
“So we definitely lost some running because the tyres are massive, massive… you could see it’s two or three seconds or whatever it was between the tyres.
“Then we got into qualifying and we had to start on the… We believed that in order to give us hypersofts in Q2 and Q3, that’s the tyre we went out on and we definitely didn’t expect to be on the pace that we were but the delta between the tyres was even bigger, once we got to qualifying.
“So yeah, and I couldn’t go quicker so I was definitely a little bit nervous, but then we went back out and I’m not quite sure why the Ferraris did the run on that tyre.
“I don’t know if they had four new sets of hypers, probably unlikely, so that’s probably why they had to take another tyre, probably, but you could already have seen from our run that you were not going to get through there, so that just leaves me to believe that they probably just didn’t have an extra tyre.
“But the Q2 was good and once we got to Q3 it was nice but the extra run that others got.
“I think they had an advantage going into qualifying just by having the extra run on the hypersoft.”
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff, meanwhile, was left speechless after Hamilton picked up the 79th pole of his career.
He said: “It is not about the money, he is such an exceptional driver, only he will know what he did around this lap.
“He talked to his engineers and said ‘show me the overlay’ it is just so real.
“[Ferrari] had the form in the past years but what makes me happy is we have found closure of how to set the car up.
“I want to say thank you to all the guys back in the UK who made that happen and we were able to deliver today.
“There is just a couple of things that we have understood.”
Hamilton goes into the race aiming to extend his 30-point lead over Vettel in the standings.