Hamilton on course for record win after Portuguese pole

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Lewis Hamilton seized pole position in the dying seconds of qualifying for the first Portuguese Grand Prix in 24 years on Saturday to deny and dismay Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas once again.

The pole, in a session delayed for half an hour while loose drainage covers were fixed, made it 12 out of 12 for Mercedes this season and was a record-extending 97th for the six-time world champion.

It was also a bitter blow for Bottas, 69 points behind Hamilton in the championship, after the Finn had been quickest in every practice session as well as the first two stages of qualifying and the first laps of the final part.

Hamilton’s ninth pole of the year leaves him perfectly placed for an all-time record 92nd victory on Sunday at the Algarve circuit near Portimao, two weeks after he matched Ferrari great Michael Schumacher’s 91.

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