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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain in action during qualifying session in Lusail, Qatar ahead of the Qatar Formula One Grand Prix. Image Credit: AP

Doha: Lewis Hamilton maintained the momentum from last week’s stunning win in Brazil to claim pole for the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix after qualifying today.

Max Verstappen, who leads his Mercedes rival by 14 points with three races to go, will start alongside Hamilton on the front row tomorrow.

Losail circuit

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas posted the third quickest time under floodlights at the Losail circuit to fill the second row with Pierre Gasly for Alpha Tauri.

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Hamilton set a blistering pace to take pole position for the Qatar Grand Prix by nearly half a second.

Hamilton said: “Yesterday was a really difficult day for me. Thursday and Friday I wasn’t feeling too well - I had a bit of stomach ache. I was off [the pace] yesterday so really had to dig deep. We didn’t have any traffic and that last lap was beautiful. This track is amazing to drive - all medium and fast corners.”

Verstappen said: “Just lacking a bit of pace. It has been just a bit more tricky for us again in qualifying, you could even see that - Checo [Perez] is not even in Q3 so you can see were are struggling a bit more than normal. Still second, so it is all to play for still.”