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German Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole for Mercedes' 200th race, disaster for Ferrari

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Hockenheim, Germany Jul 27, 2019, 08.09 PM (IST)

Lewis Hamilton secured a record-extending 87th pole in their 200th race on Saturday when he made the most of a double disaster for Ferrari in qualifying at the German Grand Prix.

The defending five-time world champion, who had struggled for pace and consistency in his Mercedes in practice, improved to clock a best lap in one minute and 11.767 and outpace Max Verstappen of Red Bull by 0.346 seconds.  

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third ahead of Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull while Charles Leclerc, who had been fastest for Ferrari in final practice, failed to run in the Q3 top-ten shootout due to a technical problem with his car.

The Moneqasque will start 10th, 10 places ahead of his luckless Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel who was unable to take part in qualifying due to a turbo problem and will start at the back of the grid for his home race.

Kimi Raikkonen was fifth for Alfa Romeo ahead of Romain Grosjean of Haas, Carlos Sainz of McLaren, Sergio Perez of Racing Point and Nico Hulkenberg of Renault.

"Congratulations Lewis – you never stop amazing us," said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff as the Briton drove his slow-down lap. 

"Thanks, Toto," he replied. "A great job guys – I don't know how we did that."

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Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third ahead of Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull while Charles Leclerc, who had been fastest for Ferrari in final practice, failed to run in the Q3 top-ten shootout due to a technical problem with his car