Mercedes' Hamilton secures pole position for Japanese GP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain takes off his glove during qualifying for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday

SUZUKA, Japan — Championship leader Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix, leading a 1-2 finish for Mercedes drivers on Saturday.

Hamilton posted a lap record time of 1 minute, 27.319 seconds to finish 0.332 ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton's title rival, Sebastian Vettel, was third but the Ferrari driver will move up to second after Bottas's penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change. Bottas drops to seventh.

Hamilton struggled for pace in the previous race in Malaysia but that wasn't the case in Saturday's qualifying.

"It's been a really great day, every lap was fantastic, I never really got a great balance in the past so never did a great qualifying here," Hamilton said.

Hamilton smashed Michael Schumacher's qualifying lap record, set during Q2 in 2006, by 1.365 seconds to take his 71st F1 pole and first in 10 attempts at this circuit.

"It has been a great car in qualifying this year, and qualifying for me is the most enjoyable part of the weekend," said Hamilton, who had previously secured pole at every current F1 circuit except Suzuka.

"It's incredible for me, 10 years or whatever it is and my first pole at Suzuka," Hamilton said.

With five races remaining, Hamilton leads Vettel by 34 points in the drivers' championship.

Hamilton has won twice before here at Suzuka, in 2014 and 2015, and was runner-up to former Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in last year's race. Hamilton also won the Japanese GP with McLaren in 2007 when it was held at the Fuji Speedway.

A win in Suzuka would move Hamilton a step closer to a third F1 title in four years with Mercedes and his fourth overall.

Vettel was happy to be on the front row after starting the Malaysia GP from the back of the grid and working his way up to a fourth-place finish.

"The car is quick and, as last weekend shows, if you start out of position you can still get back," Vettel said.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest — and now starts third — just 0.026 clear of teammate Max Verstappen, who won last week's Malaysia GP.

Kimi Raikkonen was sixth but, like Bottas, will also drop five places on the grid after requiring a new gearbox.

Esteban Ocon edged Force India teammate Sergio Perez to finish seventh, while Williams driver Felipe Massa and McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10.

Related News

The Latest: Britain resumes sharing bombing intel with US

May 25, 2017

British police say they have resumed sharing intelligence about the Manchester bombing with U.S. counterparts

Coach Julen Lopetegui has Spain back to its best

Sep 4, 2017

Julen Lopetegui has Spain back among the elect few sides favored to contend for next year's World Cup

Dybala nets 2 as Juve beats Barcelona 3-0 in Champs League

Apr 11, 2017

Paulo Dybala has outshone his more famous compatriot Lionel Messi by scoring two goals to help Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal

You may also like these

The Latest: Britain resumes sharing bombing intel with US

May 25, 2017

British police say they have resumed sharing intelligence about the Manchester bombing with U.S. counterparts

Coach Julen Lopetegui has Spain back to its best

Sep 4, 2017

Julen Lopetegui has Spain back among the elect few sides favored to contend for next year's World Cup

Dybala nets 2 as Juve beats Barcelona 3-0 in Champs League

Apr 11, 2017

Paulo Dybala has outshone his more famous compatriot Lionel Messi by scoring two goals to help Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal

SukanKini focuses on the nation’s favorite sports and local leagues and the rivalry between our teams with other players across South East Asia and even all over the world.

Contact us: sales@sukankini.com

Automobile Racing Badminton Bowling Boxing Canoeing And Kayaking Field Hockey Football Hockey Motorcycle Racing Racquetball Soccer Press