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Max Verstappen error hands Lewis Hamilton pole in Saudi Arabia

Verstappen error hands Hamilton pole in Saudi Arabia
© Reuters
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix on pole position after a late error in qualifying by Max Verstappen.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix on pole position after a late error by Max Verstappen in qualifying.

Verstappen, who holds an eight-point lead over Hamilton in the title race, was on the brink of edging out his rival as he entered the final corner in Q3.

However, the Red Bull driver clipped the wall and the contact brought his hot lap to a shuddering halt, handing Hamilton the advantage ahead of Sunday's race.

Depending on the damage to his car, Verstappen will start in third place, with Valtteri Bottas edging him off the front row by 31 thousands of a second.

Earlier in the day, Hamilton avoided a sanction for allegedly not respecting double waved yellow flags and impeding, but the Briton was let off with a reprimand.

Charles Leclerc was fourth in the Ferrari, while Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez was a place further down the grid in fifth position.

British drivers Lando Norris and George Russell were seventh and 14th-fastest respectively.

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Valtteri Bottas pictured during the Italian Grand Prix on September 10, 2021
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