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Lewis Hamilton claims pole position ahead of Sebastian Vettel for Belgian Grand Prix

LEWIS Hamilton again showed why he loves the rain after taking a record fifth pole position at the Belgian GP.

The Brit, who triumphed in Germany when it poured, and then again in Hungary during a wet qualifying, held his nerve for the 78th pole of his career.

 Lewis Hamilton will start the Belgian Grand Prix from pole position after impressing in the rain
EPA
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Lewis Hamilton will start the Belgian Grand Prix from pole position after impressing in the rain
 It is the British driver's 78th pole position in Formula 1 and extends his record
Getty Images – Getty
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It is the British driver's 78th pole position in Formula 1 and extends his record

Hamilton slipped off the track twice, but recovered with a last-ditch flying lap to pip Sebastian Vettel to pole.

Hamilton said: "It was one of the toughest qualifying sessions I can remember, it seems to get harder.

"I was hopeful I could make the slight difference and then the rain came and I cannot explain how difficult it was.

"I went off at Turn One and you are tip-toeing around and you cannot see where it was wet. It was so hard, I was so glad I was able to hold it together."

 Hamilton leads the drivers' championship by 24 points from Sebastian Vettel
AP:Associated Press
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Hamilton leads the drivers' championship by 24 points from Sebastian Vettel

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Both Sergio Perez and Hamilton's teammate, Valtteri Bottas, also had spins as the rain in the final qualifying session caused havoc.

Esteban Ocon was the shock of the day in third place for the Racing Point Force India, topping off a good week for the Silverstone-based team, who came out of administration.

However, it was another horror show for McLaren after both cars were eliminated from qualifying at the first hurdle.

The team, who celebrate the 50 year anniversary of their founder, Bruce McLaren's, maiden win in F1, were powerless in preventing their worst qualifying result of the season.

 Vettel will start the Belgian Grand Prix from second on the grid with Esteban Ocon third
Reuters
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Vettel will start the Belgian Grand Prix from second on the grid with Esteban Ocon third

Fernando Alonso was 17th and under-pressure Stoffel Vandoorne, was dead last and almost three seconds off the pace set by Raikkonen.

The Belgian needed a big performance in Spa to boost his chances of staying with the team for next season, but did not deliver.

Alonso's replacement for next season, Carlos Sainz, was also eliminated in Q1 along with Williams duo, Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll.

 Ocon will be looking to improve on his best finish of this season when he finished eighth in Monaco and Austria
AP:Associated Press
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Ocon will be looking to improve on his best finish of this season when he finished eighth in Monaco and Austria

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Third on the grid will be Esteban Ocon as the Force India driver performed well in qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps.

Hamilton already has the record for the most Formula 1 poles and has further extended that with another successful Saturday.

LEWIS HAMILTON again showed why he loves the rain after taking a record fifth pole position at the Belgian GP.



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Lewis Hamilton claims pole position ahead of Sebastian Vettel for Belgian Grand Prix

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