Lewis Hamilton | US Grand Prix | Nico Rosberg | Kimi Raikkonen

Hamilton bags pole position for US GP

Lewis Hamilton

Austin (Texas), Oct 23 (IANS) Mercedes’ English driver Lewis Hamilton has grabbed pole position for the US Grand Prix while his German teammate and Formula One drivers’ standings leader Nico Rosberg will start second on the grid.

Hamilton on Saturday claimed the 58th pole of his Formula One career in Saturday’s Q3, leaving him just 10 short of the record held by Germany’s Michael Schumacher, reports Efe.

The 31-year-old two-time defending F1 champion Hamilton and Rosberg, who is seeking his first drivers’ title, battled it out in the third and final round of qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas track near Austin, Texas, with Hamilton initially taking the lead with a lap time of 1:35.370.

Rosberg eclipsed that with a time of 1:35.215, but Hamilton answered with a blistering 1:34.999 to take pole position.

It marked the 17th time in 18 qualifying sessions this F1 season that a Mercedes driver has finished first in qualifying.

Pairs of teammates will also line up in the second and third rows at the start of Sunday’s race, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo third on the grid and Max Verstappen fourth.

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, who both drive for Ferrari, finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in Q3.

Rosberg has 313 points and Hamilton has 280 with four races to go in the 2016 F1 season.