Monday, 18 December, 2017

Hamilton Equals Schumacher's All-time Pole Record

Kimi Raikkonen Kimi Raikkonen
Vera Richards | 28 August, 2017, 00:49

Mercedes have yet to confirm their second driver, with Bottas joining in January as replacement for retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg with no guarantees for 2018.

"The vehicle felt strong straight out of the box", said Hamilton, who has won four races this season.

"I am interested to hear what he (Vettel) has to say", Hamilton, sitting alongside his rival, said after Vettel was quizzed about Lauda's comments. "Sebastian put up a great fight but this is what I said I was going to do and I did it", Hamilton said after the Belgian Grand Prix, the first race after the summer break that got underway with the British Grand Prix. "I've had the privilege of racing with him and always admired him and still do", he said.

He also holds the record for the most Grand Prix wins (91), the most pole positions (68) until today, the most fastest laps (77) and the most races won in a single season (13). Even though I had momentum on him, I was still a long way back.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has previously stated that a move for Vettel must be considered, and the team's failure to extend Valtteri Bottas's one-year deal only lends to the theory that the four-time champion could be on the move. "I am honoured to be there with him now on the pole positions, but he will still be one of the greatest of all time". "But I don't believe any of the bosses at Mercedes or any of the individuals here at the team is unhappy with what is now in place, so I find it hard to believe they will change that".

Hamilton, a victor twice before at Spa, is now 14 points down on the German in the championship chase.

Schumacher, whose 91 race wins and seven championships will still take some beating, set his pole record at Magny-Cours in France in July 2006.

Vettel, who had struggled through the build-up sessions, admitted: "I really needed that final lap".

"If I'm really honest, knowing that nothing will probably happen anyway until 2019, it feels too far away to start thinking".

"Now, to think I have equalled him on poles is very surreal and very much a humbling experience, particularly knowing that Michael is such a legend".

Hamilton's lap in 1min 42.553sec was the all-time record fastest at the spectacular Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the forests of the Belgian Ardennes, 0.242 seconds quicker than Vettel.

"The balance of the auto has been feeling really good, just lacking overall grip and losing a lot of time in high speed corners".

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