2017 F1

Hamilton equals Schumacher pole record at 2017 Belgian GP

Mercedes’ ace Lewis Hamilton tied Michael Schumacher record of 68 pole positions during qualifying for the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday, smashing the track record in Spa-Francorchamps in the process.

The Brit narrowly beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to the top spot with a time of 1:42.553. Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen will start from the second row.

The Briton, who is 14 points adrift of championship leader Sebastian Vettel, has won twice before at Spa in 2010 and 2015.

Vettel’s Ferrari was second fastest thanks to a strong final lap of the session, and the four-time world champion was 0.2 seconds off Hamilton’s pace.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was third fastest, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, with the Red Bull Racing pair of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo locking out the third row.

Fernando Alonso was 11th for McLaren, who again were hampered by a lack of power in their Honda power unit.

Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was 15th, but will start last after earning a 65-place grid penalty due to a number of parts of his engine being replaced before qualifying.

Nico Hulkenberg wound up seventh for Renault ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, while Jolyon Palmer’s rotten luck continued as he suffered a clutch problem in Q2 before a complete loss of oil pressure in Q3, leaving him P10 on the grid without a time to his name.

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