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Hamilton keeps F1 title hopes alive with Mexico pole

Lewis Hamilton (right) must pull out all the stops to beat title rival Nico Rosberg. Credit: PA

Lewis Hamilton kept his slim championship hopes alive by claiming pole position for Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix ahead of his title rival Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg, 26 points ahead of Hamilton in the title race, arrived here in Mexico knowing that a win tomorrow, and 10th or lower for Hamilton, would be enough for him to clinch the championship.

But the German, who has been strangely out of sorts this weekend, was staring at a disappointing fourth on the grid only to save his very best lap of the weekend until the closing moments to join Hamilton on the front row.

The Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo will start from third and fourth respectively.

Rosberg deserves to win F1 title - Verstappen

Nico Rosberg. Credit: PA

Nico Rosberg deserves to beat Lewis Hamilton to this year's world championship, according to Red Bull prodigy Max Verstappen.

Rosberg, 31, is on the brink of claiming his first world title after moving 26 points clear of Hamilton with only three rounds remaining.

And while Hamilton was faster than Rosberg in both practice sessions in Mexico City on Friday, the German knows he can afford to finish second in two of the final three races, and third once, and still clinch the title.

Rosberg, who can win the championship as early as this weekend if he triumphs in Mexico and Hamilton finishes 10th or lower, has enjoyed a relatively trouble-free year. In contrast, the defence of Hamilton's third title has been plagued by a number of mechanical problems.

"Of course Lewis had some bad luck, but Nico has had some very strong races, too," Verstappen told Press Association Sport. "That is racing - it is a mechanical sport - and these things can happen.

"This year, definitely compared to last year, Nico really stepped up and he has some great results. He deserves it and he is definitely fighting hard for it. He is fired up because Lewis won the world championship twice, and he finished second and that is not nice. So, you always try to work harder in the winter and become stronger and even better."

Rosberg wins F1 Singapore Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg on track. Credit: PA

Nico Rosberg held off a dramatic late charge from Daniel Ricciardo to win the Singapore Grand Prix and move ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the title race.

Hamilton, who has been off colour all weekend at the Marina Bay street circuit, is now eight points behind his sole championship rival after he crossed the line only in third.

At one stage it looked as though it may be even worse for the Briton after an error midway through the race allowed Kimi Raikkonen to move ahead of him.

But a decision by Hamilton's Mercedes team to pit him for a third time saw the world champion move back ahead of Ferrari's Raikkonen and seal the final spot on the podium.

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Rosberg on pole for F1 Singapore GP

Nico Rosberg. Credit: PA

Nico Rosberg left a beleaguered Lewis Hamilton trailing in his wake after he secured pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix in emphatic fashion.

Rosberg, who will start his 200th Formula One race on Sunday, was a crushing seven tenths of a second faster than an off-colour Hamilton would could qualify only third at the Marina Bay street circuit.

Daniel Ricciardo split the championship rivals after he hauled his Red Bull on to the front row, albeit half a second adrift of Rosberg's outstanding lap.

Rosberg beats Hamilton to start on pole at home GP

Nico Rosberg. Credit: PA

Home favourite Nico Rosberg will start on pole for Sunday's German Grand Prix after edging out his title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg, six points behind Hamilton in the championship, had been fastest in all three practice sessions at Hockenheim, and he made it count where it matters to secure his second pole in as many grands prix.

Daniel Ricciardo qualified third for Red Bull while his team-mate Max Verstappen will start from fourth.

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