Lewis Hamilton roars to the pole position at Spa.
August 26, 2017
Lewis Hamilton tied Michael Schumacher’s all-time pole Formula 1 position record as he blew the opposition away in qualifying for the Formula 1 Belgium Grand Prix -- the 200th Grand Prix of Hamilton’s career.
At the venue where Schumacher made his Formula 1 debut and recorded his first victory, it almost felt as though it was written in the stars that the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit would be the place where Hamilton would equal the seven-time world champion’s 68 pole positions. Schumacher started 306 races to reach his 68 poles.
Formula 1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn -- technical director at both Benetton and Ferrari during Schumacher’s time with the teams -- delivered a message from the Schumacher family, congratulating Hamilton on his achievement.
“Corina Schumacher and the Schumacher family want to congratulate you on equalling Michael’s record,” relayed Brawn. “As they said, Michael always said that records are there to be broken so they want to send their very special thanks. Well done.”
Visibly moved and with tears welling in his eyes, Hamilton said, “I can’t believe it. This is one of my favorite circuits so to come here and put a lap together like that is a dream and I’ve got the best job in the world.
“To hear the message that Ross just gave, I just have to say a big thank you. I think and pray for Michael’s family all the time. I’ve had the privilege of racing with him from karting to on the Formula 1 track so I’m just honored to be up there with him now in the poles.
“He will still be the greatest, one of the greatest of all time.”
Championship leader Sebastian Vettel didn’t appear to quite be on top form throughout the session but, when the lap was needed, Vettel somehow managed to pull out a time that elevated him up from fifth to second place, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Vettel's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen. During the free practice sessions Ferrari showed that they had better long run pace than Mercedes.
“It was the right time,” said Vettel. “We had a very good feeling in Q1, it was really good but I lost that feel a little bit. The front end was a bit light, especially through sector two with the medium and high-speed corners I was lacking a bit of response but the last lap the car was more alive.
“They should be (worried about our race pace). So far it has been looking pretty good so I hope we can keep it up. The car, on one lap all weekend I thought it’s a bit trickier to get it together. Consecutive laps with high fuel I felt really good so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
A vibration on his last run saw Raikkonen drop to fourth and Bottas, who briefly occupied the second spot, ended the day in third.
“We had a great holiday and have come back feeling fresh and this is a perfect way to start the weekend,” said Hamilton. “The second half (of the season) is going to be tough for all of us -- the team and everyone back at the factory -- but we’re geared up for it.”
POSDRIVERCARQ1Q2Q31LewisHamiltonMERCEDES01:44.201:42.901:42.62SebastianVettelFERRARI01:44.301:44.001:42.83ValtteriBottasMERCEDES01:44.801:43.201:43.14KimiRäikkönenFERRARI01:44.701:43.701:43.35MaxVerstappenRED BULL RACING01:44.501:43.901:43.46DanielRicciardoRED BULL RACING01:45.101:44.201:43.97NicoHulkenbergRENAULT01:45.301:45.001:45.08SergioPerezFORCE INDIA MERCEDES01:45.601:44.901:45.29EstebanOconFORCE INDIA MERCEDES01:45.301:45.001:45.410JolyonPalmerRENAULT01:45.401:44.7DNS11FernandoAlonsoMCLAREN HONDA01:45.701:45.112RomainGrosjeanHAAS FERRARI01:45.701:45.113KevinMagnussenHAAS FERRARI01:45.501:45.414CarlosSainzTORO ROSSO01:45.401:45.415StoffelVandoorneMCLAREN HONDA01:45.4DNF16FelipeMassaWILLIAMS MERCEDES01:45.817DaniilKvyatTORO ROSSO01:46.018LanceStrollWILLIAMS MERCEDES01:46.919MarcusEricssonSAUBER FERRARI01:47.220PascalWehrleinSAUBER FERRARI01:47.7
By Sam Hall
Formula 1, Racing
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