Silverstone: An emotional Lewis Hamilton put Mercedes on pole position for his home British Grand Prix here Saturday after giving his all to stay ahead of Ferrari’s Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel in a knife-edge qualifying.
The difference between the four times World Champions came down to just 0.044 seconds at the end, with Vettel 0.057 faster after their first flying laps around a sizzling Silverstone circuit.
Hamilton, who will be chasing his fifth successive home win Sunday to retake the lead from his German rival, was shaking as he parked up, leapt out and punched the air. His lap of one minute 25.892 seconds was a track record.
“I gave it everything I could, but it was so close with these Ferraris,” he said, addressing the crowd with their Hamilton banners and flags. “I was just praying I could do it for you guys. For me it feels like one of the best laps that I have been able to produce. I was shaking through the emotion and the adrenalin rush which was way above the limit of what I had experienced before,” added the 33-year-old.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen will line up third with Hamilton’s Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas completing the second row of the grid.
Hamilton, a point behind Vettel after nine races, has now had six poles at Silverstone and Saturday was his fourth in a row at the circuit he has come to dominate since his debut in 2007.
The Red Bull pairing of Dutch 20-year-old Max Verstappen, winner in Austria last weekend, and Australian Daniel Ricciardo qualified fifth and sixth.
“We lose more than a second on the straights so this track is getting less and less favourable for us,” commented Verstappen.
Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean will line up seventh and eighth with Monaco’s Charles Leclerc ninth for Sauber and Force India’s Esteban Ocon 10th.