The world championship leader turned the screens purple with one of the most dominant qualifying displays of recent times to take pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s record 71st pole position was never in doubt and he will be joined on the front-row by the Ferrari of Vettel – who was third fastest but moves up after the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was hit with a grid penalty.
This was Hamilton’s maiden pole position at Suzuka, his other two Japanese Grand Prix poles coming at Fuji.
POLE POSITION SHOOT-OUT
1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1min 27.319secs
2 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:27.651
3 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:27.791
4 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 1:28.306
5 Max Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 1:28.332
6 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:28.498
7 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 1:29.111
8 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:29.260
9 Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams 1:29.480
10 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 1:30.687