F1: Lewis Hamilton earns pole for Belgian Grand Prix | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 25.08.2018
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F1: Lewis Hamilton earns pole for Belgian Grand Prix

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton earned pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, his fifth pole this season. Force India, who will run its first race since an ownership change, had two drivers in the top four.

Despite battling rainy conditions at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton earned pole position for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

Rain came down for the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3, setting up a spectacular final lap for Hamilton. His last effort beat German driver Sebastian Vettel's time by 0.7 seconds.

"The rain is always a friend of mine," the Briton said. "I think that was one of the hardest sessions I can remember. We only had a few laps to find the grip, to find where the track was dry and wet."

It is the fifth pole for the Mercedes driver this season and his record-extending 78th.

Hamilton holds a 24-point lead over Ferrari's Vettel in the F1 drivers' standings after he won the last two races before F1's four-week break.

Force India in the running

Two days after coming out of administration, renamed Racing Point Force India took third and fourth with Frenchman Esteban Ocon ahead of Mexican teammate Sergio Perez. 

"It's always closer between the cars when it rains like that," said Ocon.

Ocon, 21, matched his career best qualifying performance and received praise from Vettel, who said: "It's his day."

dv/mp (AP, Reuters)