He has now registered the most poles of any British driver in the sport’s history. Having drawn level with Jim Clark in Malaysia after topping Q3 for the 33rd time, he today moved ahead of the two-time world champion.
Qualifying at the Shanghai International Circuit took place in wet and tricky conditions, which teams hoped would help to close the gap to the dominant Mercedes drivers. However, Hamilton proved to be unbeatable and put in another stunning lap to register his third pole of the year by six tenths of a second.
Even his team-mate couldn’t match him. Nico Rosberg only managed fourth on the grid after two uncharacteristic errors, including a spin at turn 16, on his final two laps in Q3.
The Brit has now moved ahead of Clark, beating a record that has failed to be surpassed in 46 years. The Scot’s last pole position was at the 1968 South African Grand Prix. He went on to win the race on the following day.
It proved to be Clark’s final victory in Formula 1, as he tragically died in an F2 race at the Hockenheim circuit in Germany four months later. He is widely regarded as being one of the greatest ever drivers to compete in the sport.
Hamilton’s pole position in China means he now moves into fourth place on the all-time list, behind Sebastian Vettel (45), Ayrton Senna (65) and Michael Schumacher (68).
Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas