Lewis Hamilton said he wanted to dedicate his all-time record pole position to Michael Schumacher, the man whose mark he eclipsed.
Hamilton took his 69th pole in treacherous wet conditions at the Italian Grand Prix.
“I said it would be kind of cool to dedicate the pole to Michael and his family,” said Hamilton.”For everything he did for the sport and raising that bar and to be able to raise that bar once more is an honour.”
Hamilton’s new record came a race after he equalled Schumacher’s previous record of 68 poles at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Last weekend, Schumacher’s family sent Hamilton a message of congratulations, saying the German had always said records were there to be broken.
Schumacher has not been seen in public since suffering severe head injuries in a skiing accident in 2013. His family have given no updates on his condition since he was transferred from a hospital in France to his home in Switzerland six months after the accident.
Hamilton said: “I would love to speak to his wife and see how things are but time will tell. It is an awesome way to pay homage and respect to him as a great, and kind of picking up the baton from him.
Hamilton said he intended to move the record as high as possible for the remainder of his career – he has already said this weekend that he will sign a new deal with Mercedes, to whom he is already contracted until the end of 2018, later this year.
“I have not yet set the record,” he said. “I am going continue to expand on it. There are other drivers relatively close like Sebastian (Vettel). someone else will come along, but I have got to take it as far as I can take it.”
Asked what it meant to him, he said: “It is a real honour and privilege to be in this sport and to come from where I have come from and represent my family and my country.
“I grew up watching F1 and there are people watching it today and dreaming of being here one day.
“I could not even fathom what I have been able to achieve but what I consistently believed in was my ability and in what I could do if I put my mind to it.
“I think that applies to anyone around the world – try to use positivity as a force forwards. I entered today with great positivity – extract it and use it and it is more powerful than anything.”
He added: “I don’t know where that lap come from. It was really worth the wait. It is really epic for me and my family.
“You have to dig real deep in scenarios like today and in any sport. To really find that focus and that zone to be able to pull something like that out today.
“In the rain it is so tricky. It is so easy to make mistake and particularly when you know it is your final lap and it is all or nothing.
“Even I struggle to fathom how I am able to do it but it is something I have inside. It is a feeling and that feeling never really fails me.”