F1

Lewis Hamilton breaks Formula 1 pole record at Italian Grand Prix

After a number of rain delays, Lewis Hamilton powered through to his 69th career pole position, breaking Michael Schumacher's record in the process. The Briton is closing in on championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

Formel 1 Italien Grand Prix Qualifying Monza (picture alliance/empics)

With visibility poor at Monza, Hamilton - who won the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend - edged out Max Verstappen and his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in his final lap, with championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Germany down in eighth.

The win, which came a decade after Hamilton's maiden pole, surpasses Schumacher's record of 68 pole positions and puts Vettel under severe pressure for Sunday's race. The Ferrari driver currently holds a slim seven-point cushion over Hamilton 

Hamilton's latest  pole comes in what will be his 201st F1 race. He will start in the front row alongside Williams driver Lance Stroll (below) as the two Red Bulls will take grid penalties.

It's the fourth straight year that Hamilton will start first in Monza and it was the Mercedes driver's sixth pole overall on the track, breaking another record held by Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio.

"Firstly, Italy, I love you, even though we are in Ferrari's homeland I appreciate all the support," three-time world champion Hamilton said.

"It's great to break this record at such a historic circuit and in such a beautiful country. I am going to have some pasta tonight to celebrate."

mp (Reuters, AP)

 

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