Hamilton fastest in Istanbul F1 qualifying but Bottas takes pole

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas after qualifying. ©AFP

Istanbul (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton dominated qualifying Saturday for the Turkish Grand Prix but his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas will start the race from pole position.

Hamilton, the championship leader, set a new lap record three times in qualifying but because his team incurred a 10-place grid penalty by changing his engine ahead of the race he will start 11th. 

His closest rival for the title, Dutchman Max Verstappen of Red Bull, will start alongside Bottas, a Finn, on the front row.

Hamilton improved his time in each of the three qualifying phases.After breaking the 16-year-old track record in practice on Friday he broke it again in each of the three qualifying sessions.

He finished the session with a time of 1min 22.868sec, 0.130sec ahead of Bottas with Verstappen 0.328 back.

Frenchmen Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari, and Pierre Gasly in an Alpha Tauri will start on the second row.

Veteran Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Mexican Sergio Perez of Red Bull occupy the next two places.


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