Hamilton secures pole trophy with 10 out of 11

Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:10am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (Reuters) - Double world champion Lewis Hamilton clinched the Formula One pole trophy at the Belgian Grand Prix on Saturday with a flawless lap to take top slot on the starting grid for the 10th time in 11 races.

The Mercedes driver will have his closest rival and team mate Nico Rosberg, last year's inaugural pole trophy winner, alongside on the front row.

The Mercedes pair will be determined not to repeat the fiasco of 2014, when Rosberg was on pole and they collided on the second lap. Hamilton kicked off a controversy after that race by accusing Rosberg of driving into him deliberately.

Rosberg, who had led the championship at the same stage last year, is 21 points behind Hamilton with nine races remaining including Sunday's.

The German had been quickest in Friday practice but Hamilton banged in the quickest laps when it mattered to seize pole with a time of one minute 47.197 seconds and nearly half a second faster.

"I'm really happy today with the performance of the car," the Briton said after his sixth successive pole and 48th of his increasingly stellar grand prix career.

"The car's been feeling great on the circuit... Nico was very close but my last two laps were the best I've had all weekend."

It was the first time since Michael Schumacher's domination with Ferrari in 2000-01 that a driver has chalked up six poles in a row.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates his pole position after the qualifying session at the Belgian F1 Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium August 22, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman