L&T Motorsport

Hamilton sets Pole record in rain delayed Qualifying

After equaling Michael Schumacher’s pole record at last weekend’s Belgian grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has now surpassed the seven-time world champion to become the most successful driver in qualifying in F1 history.

The session got underway at 14:00LT as per usual, however was red flagged after Romain Grosjean aquaplaned off into the barriers five minutes into Q1. The session wouldn’t restart for over two and a half hours. Grosjean, who was running third prior to the red flag swiftly fell down to 20th and joined Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer and Pascal Wehrlein being knocked out in Q1.

When Q2 got underway it was unsure whether it was best to go out on Inters or Wets, and both seemed equally as fast. However when the last five minutes of the session came around, it seemed like Intermediates were the way to go, as the track got quicker and quicker. When the checkered flag fell it was a ‘last man over the line’ situation meaning that Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, and the Toro Rossos of Danill Kvyat and Carlos Sainz were knocked out.

When Q3 got underway the conditions were considerably worse than the end of Q2 and the likes of the Mercedes and the Ferraris had made the mistake of putting on the Intermediates at the start of the session. This left Verstappen, Ricciardo and Ocon to set the pace at the start of the session, however once the Mercedes had acclimatised to the conditions, Hamilton started going fastest, but even a quick lap wouldn’t deter Lewis from breaking Schumacher’s record and taking at 69th career pole.

At the end of Q3, Hamilton was fastest from Verstappen, Ricciardo, Stroll and Ocon in the Top 5, with Bottas, Raikkonen, Vettel, Massa and Vandoorne completing the top 10. However this is not how they will line up as Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Sainz and Palmer have penalties. This means that it will promote Lance Stroll to the front row with Esteban Ocon in third. Hamilton’s title challenger, Sebastian Vettel will start 6th.

The 2017 Heineken Italian Grand Prix get underway at 12:00UTC on Sunday.

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