Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position for Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix as he smashed the lap record at Spa-Francorchamps.

Hamilton dominated qualifying in Belgium to beat teammate Valtteri Bottas by half a second on a 1m41.252s as Mercedes once again locked out the front row of the grid in 2020.

It marked the six-times world champion’s sixth pole at the Belgian Grand Prix to make it pole number five for the season.

Hamilton, who set two laps in Q3 that were good enough for pole, dedicated the 93rd pole of his career to the late US actor Chadwick Boseman, who died on Saturday morning following a battle with cancer.

Max Verstappen turned in a brilliant display to get within a tenth of Bottas’ time as he took third on the grid for Red Bull.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was equally impressive as he claimed fourth with a lap that was eight-tenths adrift of Hamilton’s pole time, with Alex Albon splitting the two Renault cars in fifth, ahead of Esteban Ocon.

The rest of the top 10 was made up of McLaren and Racing Point cars, as Carlos Sainz wound up seventh-quickest, ahead of Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and his teammate Lando Norris in 10th.

Daniil Kvyat got the better of AlphaTauri teammate Pierre Gasly to seal 11th on the grid, as both drivers outpaced the struggling Ferrari pair.

On what has already been a miserable weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, the Italian outfit’s woes continued in qualifying as it failed to get at least one car into Q3 for the first time this season.

Charles Leclerc said there was “not much more I can do” on his way to setting the 13th-quickest time, just ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel who took 14th in his SF1000.

George Russell was 15th-fastest in his latest Q2 appearance as he got within two-tenths of Vettel’s Ferrari.

Four-time Belgian GP winner Kimi Raikkonen was less than a tenth away from knocking out a works Ferrari in the first part of qualifying as he placed his Alfa Romeo in 16th, ahead of Romain Grosjean’s Haas and teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.

Nicholas Latifi was unable to replicate the speed of his Williams teammate Russell and will start on the last row of the grid for Sunday’s race.

The Canadian F1 rookie was only quicker than the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, who took a trip through the gravel at Stavelot and ruined his final flying lap in Q1.




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