Lewis Hamilton tried waiting out the rain, and when that didn't work he overcame it, setting a Formula One record Saturday in Monza, Italy.
After a 2½-hour rain delay, Hamilton took his 69th career pole position with a dramatic final lap, breaking the record held by his childhood idol, Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton celebrated with the sort of jubilation usually saved for race victories.
"I can't believe it — 69 — I just can't believe it," Hamilton said. "I'm so grateful. I wish I was better with words, to be honest. I wish I had something iconic to say."
Hamilton finished more than a second ahead of Max Verstappen while Daniel Ricciardo in the other Red Bull qualified third. Neither will start on the front row because of penalties, leaving a position for 18-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll. He'll be the youngest F1 pole starter in history.
The rain made for a long day of qualifying, and the delay didn't help. Heavy rain continued all day.
"After such a long time waiting in the rain, I think the racing fans got their money's worth from the dominant lap Lewis produced right at the end — even if they were probably cheering a bit more for the cars in red than for us," said Toto Wolff, the head of motorsport at Hamilton's Mercedes team.
"It was a brilliant lap, after a session where he was the quickest man throughout, and it was undoubtedly a performance worthy of claiming the all-time pole position record."
Hamilton is looking to erase his seven-point deficit behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
"Growing up watching the sport as we all have, and witnessing greatness in other individuals such as Michael and just dreaming one day of doing what he's doing or they're doing and then to actually be there years later, I am proof that dreams are something that can come true," Hamilton said.
Rossi takes pole for IndyCar race
Alexander Rossi won the pole for the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International with a track-record time of 1 minute, 22.4639 seconds, edging Scott Dixon (1:22.5168) on his final lap around the 3.34-mile road course.
Harvick sweeps pole qualifying at Darlington
Kevin Harvick held off Martin Truex Jr. to win the pole for the Monster Energy Cup Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
Harvick ran his fastest lap, 177.730 miles per hour, in the final round, sweeping the three segments of qualifying. It was Harvick's fourth pole of the season and second at Darlington. The last time Harvick started up front for the Southern 500, he took the checkered flag at the track "Too Tough To Tame."
Qualifying first gives Harvick the lead pit area.
"That's really the biggest advantage," Harvick said. "Having that first pit stall if your car is not handling good, it allows you to make up two or three spots if you have a decent pit stop."
Hamlin wins again on Xfinity series
• Denny Hamlin passed Joey Logano coming out of the final turn to win the Xfinity Sports Clips VFW 200 at Darlington. It was his second consecutive Xfinity victory.
AROUND THE HORN
Soccer: Spain ended Italy's 11-year unbeaten run in qualifiers with a 3-0 win in Madrid and moved closer to securing a World Cup spot. The Italians hadn't lost a qualifier — World Cup or European Championship — in 56 games, since September 2006. The result left Spain in control of Group G with 19 points, three more than Italy, with three games left in European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Only the group winner automatically qualifies.
MLS: The LA Galaxy signed veteran French defender Michael Ciani to bolster their back line. Ciani, 33, has played extensively for Lorient and Bordeaux in France's top league. He also has played for Lazio in Italy and Espanyol in Spain's top league. … Kei Kamara had his first career hat trick, propelling the host New England Revolution past Orlando City 4-0. Orlando City extended its winless streak to eight. … The New England Fire beat host Montreal, ending a four-game losing streak.
College basketball: Arkansas senior forward Arlando Cook was arrested in Fayetteville early Saturday on accusations of first-degree assault, public intoxication and disorderly conduct. A Fayetteville police report said officers found Cook punching a man who appeared to be unconscious outside of a restaurant.
Cycling: Polish rider Rafal Majka won the mountainous 14th stage of the Spanish Vuelta, while Tour de France winner Chris Froome maintained his overall lead just past the halfway point of the Spanish Vuelta, one of cycling's three Grand Tours.