Friday 24 November 2017

Hamilton extends pole dominance

British driver Lewis Hamilton
British driver Lewis Hamilton

Reuters

Lewis Hamilton made it four pole positions in five races this season as he again left Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg trailing. With Mercedes again proving to be way ahead of their rivals, Hamilton finished 0.168 seconds ahead of Rosberg as the all-conquering force in Formula One again locked out the front row of the Spanish Grand Prix grid.

The Brackley-based marque were so dominant around Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya that third-on-the-grid Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull was a full second down on Hamilton, who grabbed the 35th pole of his F1 career.

Williams' Valtteri Bottas starts fourth, followed by a superb effort from Romain Grosjean to haul his Lotus up to a season-high fifth.

Kimi Raikkonen will start ahead of Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, with the duo sixth and seventh respectively, followed by Jenson Button in his McLaren in eighth, with Williams' Felipe Massa ninth. As for Sebastian Vettel, after missing most of Friday practice due to a wiring loom problem, the reigning four-times champion bowed out of qualifying a few minutes into the top-10 shoot-out to continue his weekend of woe.

"I've no drive," complained Vettel, who pulled over at turn three and will start 10th, resulting in an over-the-radio apology to Hamilton as he held up the Briton on his first attempt at a hot lap. Vettel's problems, with eight minutes of the 12 remaining in Q1, resulted in red flags appearing for a second time during qualifying following Pastor Maldonado's crash in Q1.

Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez will line up 11th and 12th for Force India, with Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat 13th for Toro Rosso.

Reuters

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