Hamilton hails 'epic' record-breaking day

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Lewis Hamilton hailed an "epic day" at the Italian Grand Prix after securing pole for a record-breaking 69th time on Saturday.

The Mercedes driver, who trails Formula One world championship leader Sebastian Vettel by just seven points, made light of the wet conditions in Monza to put himself at the front of the grid to better Michael Schumacher's all-time tally of 68.

With Ferrari's Vettel set to start sixth, Sunday's race could afford the Briton the opportunity to climb to the top of the drivers' standings, but for now he is trying to soak in the latest achievement in his stellar career.

"It's very hard to find the words to explain how I feel, I'm trying to figure it all out," he said.

"It probably won't sink in for a long time. It was an epic day, I feel truly blessed.

"The Red Bulls really made me work hard for the pole, which I'm grateful for. The weather has obviously been incredibly tricky for us all.

"What a day to come here in this beautiful country with the English weather and to be massively challenged.

"It was very difficult to see out there, and very easy to make mistakes - as always in the rain."

Hamilton's fastest lap was the last he clocked and the 32-year-old conceded he was feeling the pressure.

"The second to last lap was okay at the beginning, but then I backed out of it, hoping that I'd get one more lap," he said.

"There was a lot of pressure for that last lap - there could have been a red flag, there could have been a yellow flag. There was a lot of risk, but I gave it everything."