Hamilton takes pole position for British GP ahead of Bottas

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after he clocked the fastest time during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Will Oliver/Poolvia AP)

SILVERSTONE – Lewis Hamilton set a new track record at the British Grand Prix and clinched a record-extending 91st pole position on Saturday.

He needs five more wins to equal Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record of 91 GP victories. The defending champion is also odds-on to equal the F1 great's record of seven world titles. Hamilton leads the championship by five points from Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

He clocked a time of 1 minute 24.303 seconds at the Silverstone circuit to clinch his seventh career pole at the track where he has also won a record six times.

“This track is just awesome,” the 35-year-old Hamilton said. "There are gusts of wind in different parts of the circuit. It's like juggling balls when you're on a moving plate."

He was .313 seconds ahead of Bottas and about 1 second faster than Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

“There’s a real big gap between us and third place (but) Valtteri is pushing me right to the limit," Hamilton said.

Bottas showed good speed but ultimately fell a bit short in his bid for a 13th career pole.

“I started to drift a bit more than I wanted," he said. “Lewis found a bit more than I did, he did a really good job and he deserves the pole."