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2018 F1

Hamilton claims 75th pole in France, again McLaren ‘disaster’

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Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for Sunday’s French Grand Prix, with his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas joining the world champion on the front row.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who leads Hamilton by one point in the drivers’ standings, will set off from the second row after coming in third quickest in qualifying at Le Castellet circuit on Saturday.

The Red Bull of Max Verstappen completes the second row.

But Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne qualified 16th and 18th of the 20 runners on another humiliating day for the failing McLaren team.

So did Mercedes’ engine upgrade make the difference?
Lewis Hamilton: “I didn’t feel relief, I was getting a new engine either way.

“We are in the fifth year with these engines and the gains and upgrades you get are so small. I’m really happy with the work they’ve done, but that’s not just why we’re here on the front row.”

“It’s a difficult one to get the right balance,” says Sebastian Vettel. “I tried to push everything in the last attempt, but looking back, I pushed too hard.

“You try and get a little bit here and there out the car and then it slides, you lose the line, and you end up losing time rather than gaining.

“After the first attempt I saw that we were maybe there so I knew that with a really amazing lap I could maybe vhave a chance but it didn’t come.

“In the end with P3 I’m happy because the car should be good in the race.”

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