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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Lewis Hamilton equals Michael Schumacher's pole record as he tops the times in Belgian GP qualifying

The Briton boosted his hopes of cutting the gap to Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' championship by setting the pace at Spa-Francorchamps.

Lewis Hamilton is on pole position for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. Francois Lenoir / Reuters
Lewis Hamilton is on pole position for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. Francois Lenoir / Reuters

Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher's record for most pole positions in Formula One after clocking the quickest time in qualifying for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

The three-time world champion's lap of 1 minute, 42.907 seconds around Spa-Francorchamps proved too good for the rest of the field as he took his seventh top spot of the season.

The Briton, who is 14 points adrift of championship leader Sebastian Vettel, has won twice before at Spa in 2010 and 2015.

Vettel's Ferrari was second fastest thanks to a strong final lap of the session, and the four-time world champion was 0.2 seconds off Hamilton's pace.

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was third fastest, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, with the Red Bull Racing pair of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo locking out the third row.

Fernando Alonso was 11th for McLaren, who again were hampered by a lack of power in their Honda power unit.

Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was 15th, but will start last after earning a 65-place grid penalty due to a number of parts of his engine being replaced before qualifying.

The Belgian Grand Prix, the 12th round of the 20-race season, begins at 4pm on Sunday UAE time.

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