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Sport Formula 1 Lewis Hamilton Malaysia

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Hamilton claims pole for Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton took the 70th pole position of his Grand Prix career. Max Rossi/REUTERS

Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix in pole position. His Mercedes will begin the 15th race of the season in front of Kimi Räikkönen’s Ferrari and Max Verstappen in a Red Bull.

"Things went in our favour and it’s a huge surprise to take pole,” said the 32-year-old Briton.

Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel by 28 points and the German’s attempts to close the gap suffered a blow when he crashed his Ferrari during the qualifying rounds. He will start in last place.

"It’s going to be a tough battle with the Red Bulls who have been very fast along the straights.”

Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull will start in fourth ahead of Hamilton’s stable mate Valtteri Bottas.