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Hamilton earns F1 pole, sets record for British drivers

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes waves after earning the pole for the Chinese Grand Prix, which ran overnight.

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Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes waves after earning the pole for the Chinese Grand Prix, which ran overnight.

SHANGHAI — Lewis Hamilton maintained Mercedes' perfect record in Formula One qualifying this season, holding off the two Red Bull cars to capture his third pole position of the campaign Saturday at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton, in steady light rain, broke the record for most series poles by a British driver with his 34th.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo was about 0.6 seconds off the pace in second place, with teammate and four-time defending series champion Sebastian Vettel third.

Hamilton's main competitor, teammate Nico Rosberg, made mistakes on his final two flying laps and qualified fourth for the race, which was held overnight.

"It's so slippery out there, trying to find the grip, obviously not making mistakes on your lap, and really putting it together, especially when you have these guys pushing you," Hamilton said. "It was a tough session."

Hamilton took fourth on the all-time pole list, one ahead of Jim Clark of Scotland for the record among Britons (Frenchman Alain Prost also had 33). Hamilton has 34 poles in 133 races; Clark compiled his mark in 73 starts.

"To be up there amongst the great names, all the greats, I'm very, very proud of that, for sure," Hamilton said.

Hamilton trails Michael Schumacher (68 career poles), Ayrton Senna (65) and Vettel (45).

Hamilton earns F1 pole, sets record for British drivers 04/19/14 [Last modified: Saturday, April 19, 2014 9:47pm]
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