Sebastian Vettel jersey third but starts second after Valtteri

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Lewis Hamilton claimed pole for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix – and a personal milestone. Finally, for the first time in a decade of racing, he has secured the top spot at one of Formula One’s most demanding circuits. Over Marcus Kruger Womens Jersey a has already featured three world championships and, at this year’s Italian Grand Prix, overtaking Michael Schumacher’s record with a 69th pole position – a total he has now extended to 71 – this was a moment Hamilton clearly savoured.He was untouchable over the 3.6‑mile circuit, fastest across all three sessions and a country mile ahead of his competitors. His Mercedes team‑mate Valtteri Bottas was three‑tenths slower to be second fastest. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who Hamilton leads by 34 points in the drivers’ standings, will start second because of a grid penalty for Bottas, but the German could manage only third, four-tenths down on the pole time, an age at Suzuka. Hamilton showed breathtaking precision and skill at a breakneck pace. His time of 1min 27.319sec smashed the lap record of 1.28.954, set by Schumacher in 2006, by almost 1.7sec.
“It has been incredible to come here with this car,” Hamilton said. “This track has always been one of – if not the – greatest circuit and with this car it is just mind-blowing. I wish you could feel what we feel. It has always been one of the craziest roller-coaster rides but with the downforce we now have, three seconds faster than we have been before, it is insane, the speed.”His first sector – where a lap can be won or lost, especially through the esses and Dunlop – was mighty. Here, then, was a driver who had found an almost perfect harmony with his car, something that has been distinctly lacking at some points this season. The team has described the Mercedes as a diva and earlier this weekend, after difficulties at the last two rounds in Singapore and Malaysia, Hamilton had used the word stubborn.However, there was no trace of recalcitrance in the cooler temperatures of Suzuka and driver and car were clearly on song. “It is definitely great when she comes together on days like that,” he said. “It is important because if we were on the back foot here it wouldn’t be a great position to be in. Let’s hope she’s not stubborn tomorrow.
“Qualifying for me is probably the most enjoyable part of the weekend so being able to put together laps like today, it is the one you wait for all weekend. Q3, runs one and two, are really what motor sport is all about – the ultimate performance from myself but also the car.”Hamilton has won three times at Suzuka, twice previously for Mercedes in 2014 and 2015 – both years he went on to take the world championship. But he can expect the Ferrari to be more competitive in race pace as it has been all season and Bottas’s five-place penalty, for using a replacement gearbox, means Vettel will be on the front row. But as Hamilton proved at Spa, once he has the advantage into the first corner, wresting the lead from him can be an enormously difficult task.“Our car is quite strong in qualifying trim but in the race maybe we are a Brayden Schenn Youth Jersey step back, not quite as good,” he said. “But it is hard, if not impossible, to overtake here so we have put ourselves in the best position.”
Both the championship contenders must be wary of the charging Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who will be immediately behind Flyers Jersey them Flyers Authentic Jersey and Blackhawks Jersey for Blackhawks Authentic Jersey Hamilton, for all that he enjoys this momentous pole, he knows it is only half the job done. Should he convert it to a win, however, he will have left Vettel with an absolute mountain to climb in the title fight.Kimi Raikkonen finished in sixth but has a five-pace grid penalty for replacing his gearbox after the damage he sustained going off at the second Degner during final practice on Saturday morning. The Force India’s of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Pérez were in seventh and eighth and Felipe Massa’s Williams was in ninth.


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