World champion Lewis Hamilton claimed his first pole position of the season as McLaren locked out the front row of the grid for Sunday’s European Formula One Grand Prix in Valencia. The Briton, fresh from winning his first race of the season last time out in Hungary, posted a time of one minute 38.498 seconds to beat team-mate Heikki Kovalainen to top spot by less than a tenth of a second.
Sebastian Vettel maintained the impressive form he showed in practice by comfortably securing pole position in his Red Bull for Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The German, the only driver apart from world championship leader Jenson Button to win a Formula One race this season, finished nearly four tenths of a second quicker than Button’s Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello, with the other Red Bull of Mark Webber third on the grid. Button, who leads the standings by 26-points after dominating the season with six victories from seven races, is down in sixth place — his worse qualifying of the season — to the disappointment of home supporters.
A roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday killed three Afghan army commandos, the U.S. military said. Button, who started from pole at Albert Park, was claiming the second victory of his 154-race career to complete a remarkable reversal of fortunes for the former Honda team who were facing an uncertain future when the Japanese car manufacturer withdrew from F1 late last year.