After a messy Q2 session, Hamilton will start at a strategic disadvantage to Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who will start on the medium tyre tomorrow, as Lewis was forced to run the soft tyre for a last-gasp effort to scrape into Q3.
In the top-10 shootout, Hamilton set the benchmark on the first run at 1m31.391s, 0.793s faster than Bottas. Hamilton then went even faster on his second run, lowering the pole time to 1m31.304s, 0.652s quicker than Bottas who also improved on his second run.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen then produced a great lap to grab second from Bottas, half a second off Hamilton and a tenth clear of Bottas.
Sergio Perez will start from P4 for Racing Point, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz (McLaren), Esteban Ocon (Renault), Lando Norris (McLaren), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and Alex Albon (Red Bull).
Qualifying 2 was disrupted by a big crash for Sebastian Vettel, who took the right-front corner off his Ferrari after spinning into the wall at Turn 4 and was almost hit by his close-following teammate Charles Leclerc.
Hamilton’s first lap was deleted for exceeding track limits at the final corner, and was on his second run when the session was halted – leaving him at the bottom of the times with 2m15s remaining in the session. That forced Hamilton’s hand to switch to soft tyres to ensure he made the top-10, handing medium-tyred Bottas a strategic advantage for the race.
Ricciardo was quickest with a lap of 1m32.218s, 0.187s ahead of Bottas, while Hamilton only just made it to the startline in time on his crucial run, and went P4 behind Sainz.
Knocked out at this point were Leclerc (Ferrari), Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri), Lance Stroll (who had problem with his Racing Point), George Russell (Williams) and Vettel.
In Qualifying 1, Bottas topped the session with a lap of 1m32.656s, 0.327s ahead of Hamilton, who had to take a second push lap after his first was again DQ-ed for track limits.
Falling at the first hurdle were Romain Grosjean (Haas), Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Nicholas Latifi (Williams) and Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo, who ran wide at Turn 2 and spun on his final try).
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