Hamilton matches Schumacher’s record in blistering pole lap for Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has matched Michael Schumacher’s all-time poles record of 68, as he will start on the front row alongside Sebastian Vettel for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s blistering lap of a 1m42.553s was four tenths faster than his early effort in Q3, which was already a new lap record. Vettel was just two tenths off second on the grid, with Valtteri Bottas starting third.

Kimi Raikkonen could only manage fourth fastest despite leading the way in practice yesterday and in the morning, the Fin complaining about vibrations for most of the session from the rear of his car.

Max Verstappen could only manage fifth but starts ahead of team mate Daniel Ricciardo, the pair running similar rear wing setups which should help compensate for their lack of straight line speed.

Further down the order is Jolyon Palmer in 10th who looked on course for a top six position, but a hydraulic issue forced him to stop just minutes into the third part of qualifying.

Another disappointment was Fernando Alonso, who despite getting a tow from Stoffel Vandoorne, was unable to improve his lap time and get into the final part of qualifying – instead getting pipped by Nico Hulkenberg who starts from seventh on the grid.

Romain Grosjean put in a good effort to get out of the relegation zone in Q3, which allowed him to put in a lap time good enough for 12th ahead of team mate Kevin Magnussen while Carlos Sainz could only manage 13th quickest.

The two Williams drivers start towards the rear of the grid, with Lance Stroll in 16th and Felipe Massa 17th because of a grid penalty he incurred for failing to slow under double waved yellows in practice this morning.

They were out for Daniil Kvyat, who stopped on track with engine problems and will take a 20-place grid penalty alongside Vandoorne (which has amounted to 65 this weekend).

Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein will also take grid penalties, which force them to start from the back of the grid in 18th and 19th respectively.

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