Lewis Hamilton Takes Pole For the Belgian Grand Prix
Taking his 68th pole, Hamilton has now matched a record some thought untouchable.
Saturday, August 26, Lewis Hamilton takes pole position after a dry qualifying session at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, and set a new overall lap record for the track. The previous record was set in 2009 by Sebastian Vettel, a 1:47.263, and today, Hamilton shattered the record with a 1:42.553. With this result, he matched the all-time pole position record held by Michael Schumacher, who managed 68 in his career, and Hamilton too now has 68. Corrinna Schumacher sent her regards, delivered by Ross Brawn, congratulating Lewis for equaling her husband's record. Hamilton now stands in a position in which he is capable of beating Schumacher's record by the end of the season.
The entourage tailing Hamilton to turn 1 will be led by championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who completes the front row. Aft of them, on the second row, is Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Räikkönen, and the third row is dominated by the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. Nico Hülkenberg has his former Force India teammate, Sergio Perez, for company on the fourth row, and Estaban Ocon rounds out the top ten with Jolyon Palmer.
Palmer failed to set a time during Q3, as he suffered a transmission oil pressure loss on his out lap, stealing his only solid chance this year at out qualifying his teammate, which he did in both Q1 and Q2. It is assumed that the oil leaked, as Max Verstappen complained of oil on the track before turn 12 over his team radio.
Fernando Alonso of McLaren-Honda experienced a battery failure during his Q2 lap, as he slowed on the back straight before pulling into the pits, furiously complaining of "no power" over the radio.
Most races aren't won with a pole position alone, though. Hamilton will need to hold off the antsy, and often impatient Sebastian Vettel to win tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix, to close the title fight back up in his favor.