Hamilton takes pole No. 45 in Austria, Rosberg in second

AFP, SPIELBERG, Austria

Sun, Jun 21, 2015 - Page 20

Defending world champion and series leader Lewis Hamilton secured the 45th pole position of his career yesterday when he outpaced Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in a dramatic rain-affected qualifying for today’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The 30-year-old Briton survived a last-gasp spin at the first corner of his final fast run to stay on top thanks to 29-year-old German Rosberg following suit by running off track at the final corner in his final push for pole.

For Rosberg, faced with a long trudge back to the pits, it was an ignominious end to a frustrating top-10 shootout after he had appeared to be fastest for most of the session.

Hamilton took his pole with a best lap of 1 minute, 8.455sec, outpacing Rosberg by 0.2 seconds.

Four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari was third fastest.

For Mercedes, it was a 19th successive pole position in a run of dominance that left their rivals, Vettel apart, in some disarray.

Hamilton was the first Briton to take pole in Austria since James Hunt in his title-winning season of 1976.

Brazilian Felipe Massa was fourth for Williams ahead of German Nico Hulkenberg, fifth for Force India, and Finn Valtteri Bottas in the second Williams.