Japanese Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton Romps to 71st Career Pole

Updated: 07 October 2017 13:27 IST

The Briton, who leads Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by 34 points with five races left, steered his Mercedes to a track record of one minute, 27.319 seconds with Valtteri Bottas second fastest.

Japanese Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton Romps to 71st Career Pole
"The car is crazy here," said Hamilton after his 71st career pole, and first at Suzuka. © AFP

Lewis Hamilton struck a huge psychological blow in the Formula One title race Saturday with a sizzling qualifying drive to take pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Briton, who leads Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by 34 points with five races left, steered his Mercedes to a track record of one minute, 27.319 seconds with Valtteri Bottas second fastest.

However, Vettel will join Hamilton on the front row after Bottas incurred a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change on Friday.

"The car is crazy here," said Hamilton after his 71st career pole, and first at Suzuka.

"Every lap was fantastic. I'm running out of opportunities to get this pole so I made sure I made it stick today."

A three-time race winner in Japan, Hamilton's dominant qualifying performance dented Vettel's fading title hopes after the German set the early pace in Friday's rain-hit practice.

"I tried everything on that last lap as I knew I had to take a bit more risks," said the German.

"I knew that we'd be on front row because of Valtteri's penalty so I'm pretty happy."

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest, ahead of team mate Max Verstappen, who won in Malaysia last week.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen qualified sixth quickest, but will also be demoted five places after switching his gearbox following a shunt in Saturday's practice.

Comments
Topics : Mercedes Ferrari Lewis Hamilton Sebastian Vettel Valtteri Bottas Formula 1
Related Articles
Canadian Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel Takes Pole With Lap Record, Lewis Hamilton To Start 4th
Canadian Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel Takes Pole With Lap Record, Lewis Hamilton To Start 4th
Canadian Grand Prix 2018: Title-Chasing Lewis Hamilton Returns To Happy Hunting Ground
Canadian Grand Prix 2018: Title-Chasing Lewis Hamilton Returns To Happy Hunting Ground
Monaco Grand Prix: Red Bull
Monaco Grand Prix: Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo Holds Off Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel For Victory
Monaco Grand Prix: Red Bull
Monaco Grand Prix: Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo Romps To Pole, Crash Woe For Max Verstappen
Monaco Grand Prix: Records Tumble As Daniel Riccardo, Red Bull Dominate
Monaco Grand Prix: Records Tumble As Daniel Riccardo, Red Bull Dominate
Advertisement