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Fernando Alonso: Lewis Hamilton pole positions a benefit of dominant car

Fernando Alonso has hailed Lewis Hamilton's "amazing number" of pole positions after his record-equalling outing at Spa, but suggested it is a by-product of years in a dominant car.

Hamilton equalled the tally of 68 pole positions set by Michael Schumacher in 2006, doing so ahead of his 200th grand prix. The British driver has enjoyed a run of dominance with Mercedes since the start of the V6 turbo era in 2014, in which time he has scored 42 of his current pole positions.

Lewis Hamilton celebrated after his record-equalling pole position at Spa-Francorchamps helped him to victory. Octane/Action Plus via Getty Images
Hamilton won the FIA Pole Trophy in 2015 and 2016 and has already scored seven in this year's campaign. McLaren's Alonso thinks his former teammate has had to perform at a high level to ensure so many starts from the front of the grid when his car has allowed it.

When asked what he thought about Hamilton's achievement in Belgium, Alonso replied: "I congratulate him, it's a great number to achieve in pole positions.

"It's amazing numbers on a Saturday and a good benefit of these years with these dominant cars. You have the dominant car but then you need to perform and he's doing that so I congratulate him."

Hamilton is likely to move past Schumacher's tally in the remaining eight races of 2017. The Englishman's victory in Belgium moved him closer to another Schumacher record -- giving him his 58th win, still a long way shy of Schumacher's carry total of 91.

Of the grid's active drivers, championship rival Sebastian Vettel is closest on both counts -- the Ferrari driver has 46 victories, just five away from third-placed Alain Prost, and is 20 poles short of Hamilton with 48.

Author: Nate Saunders, ESPN UK
Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20505721/fernando-alonso-insists-lewis-hamilton-pole-position-benefit-dominant-car

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