Record-seeking Lewis Hamilton grabs dramatic late pole in Portugal
In denying his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final seconds of qualifying Hamilton moved to within three of his 100th career pole.
Lewis Hamilton claimed a thrilling last-gasp pole position on Saturday to give him the perfect launchpad for his bid to win a record 92nd race in Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix. In denying his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final seconds of qualifying Hamilton moved to within three of his 100th career pole. The six-time champion, who had trailed the Finn in all three practice sessions and in the two opening parts of qualifying, reeled off a stunning best lap in one minute and 16.652 seconds at the new Algarve International Circuit.
It was enough to outpace the Finn by 0.102 seconds and, as so often this year, to deliver heartbreak again after the pair had swapped from soft to medium tyres for their final runs. Hamilton had gone out ahead of Bottas for the final session and took advantage by taking two flying laps, the second completed after the chequered flag fell producing his clincher.
Hamilton's ninth pole of the season sets him up to move clear of Michael Schumacher's 14-year-old record of 91 which he equalled in the Eifel Grand Prix at Nurburgring last time out.
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