Motor racing: Hamilton runs away with Monza pole position

Sat Sep 3, 2016 9:57am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton swept to a dominant pole position at the Italian Grand Prix for the third year in succession on Saturday with Mercedes team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg joining the Briton on the front row of the grid.

The pole was the 56th of the triple world champion's Formula One career and he equaled the record of five at Monza held by the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio and Brazilian Ayrton Senna.

"I'm obviously very happy today. I was only made aware of that record as I came into this weekend," Hamilton said.

"Incredibly proud and honoured to be up amongst Senna and Juan Manuel. Incredible drivers. I never in a million years thought my name would be mentioned in the same sentence as theirs.

"I came with my A-game today, and that last lap felt incredible."

Hamilton, whose dominant time of one minute 21.135 seconds was 0.478 of a second faster than Rosberg with the rest looking slow in comparison, leads the German by nine points in the championship with eight rounds remaining.

He can celebrate his 50th grand prix win, and third in a row at the fastest circuit on the calendar, on Sunday to leave Europe with a firm grip on the championship as the circus heads to Asia, the Americas and Middle East.

"The basic explanation is Lewis did some good laps. I did a good job up to now but I wasn't quick enough," said a glum Rosberg.   Continued...

Formula One - F1 - Italian Grand Prix 2016 - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - 3/9/16
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates qualifying in pole position
Reuters / Max Rossi