Hamilton delighted after claiming 40th career pole (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton was quick to praise his Mercedes team after securing the 40th pole position of his Formula 1 career in today’s qualifying session for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The defending world champion tamed the wet conditions in Q3 to edge out Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the final moments of qualifying, enjoying an advantage of just 0.074 seconds at the checkered flag.

Despite track conditions improving as the session wore on, Hamilton’s fastest time was set with what he thought was his banker lap at the start of Q3.

“I think the first lap was quite good,” Hamilton explained. “It’s always difficult because you go out and none of us had driven this weekend in the wet.

“The first lap is always the unknown. You don’t want to take too many risks so you don’t get the lap, but you need a banker.

“My lap was feeling pretty good. The next one was up at one stage, but I just lost a little bit in the lap. But generally, it’s a fantastic job for the team to get us both up here again.”

Hamilton’s 40th pole position comes on the weekend of his 150th grand prix in Malaysia. He remains fourth in the pole record standings, five behind Vettel and 25 behind his hero, Ayrton Senna.