Hamilton storms to pole in Mexico

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MOTOR-F1-MEXICO/Lewis Hamilton maintained his momentum to edge out team-mate Nico Rosberg and take pole at the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday.

Rosberg can win his first Formula One title on Sunday if he wins and Hamilton fails to finish in the points or retires, but Hamilton will start at the front of the grid at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Reigning champion Hamilton was quicker than Rosberg in all three practice sessions in Mexico City and also set the pace in qualifying, clocking one minute and 18.704 seconds on soft tyres to take pole.

Rosberg was 0.254 seconds slower than the Brit, who trails his colleague by 26 points with three races remaining after winning in Austin last weekend, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen 0.350secs off the pace in third.

German Rosberg left it late to take second spot with what could be a crucial last lap under pressure.

Hamilton laid down a marker with a quickest lap of 1:19.447 in the first qualifying session and came up with a rapid lap in Q3 after Verstappen was fastest in Q2, having also led the way in the final practice session.

Verstappen's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo will start on the second row, with Ferrari having work to do after such an encouraging start on Friday as Kimi Raikonnen and Sebastian Vettel could only qualify in sixth and seventh respectively.

Nico Hulkenberg outpaced both Ferraris and will start fifth on the grid for Force India.