Hamilton out front at home
SILVERSTONE – Lewis Hamilton took pole position for his home British Grand Prix for the third year in a row on Saturday with a sensational lap that left him one step away from Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record.
Hamilton’s championship-leading Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel, who has a 20-point advantage after nine of 20 races, qualified third.
The Mercedes driver was half a second quicker than Ferrari’s second placed Kimi Raikkonen and his time of one minute 26.600 seconds was so outrageously quick there were gasps before the crowd erupted.
“I always try to leave the best to last,” the Briton told retired champion Jenson Button in post-qualifying interviews on the grid.
“I had to make sure I got that lap in. I couldn’t do it last weekend (in Austria) so I made sure I could here.”
Hamilton still faced a nervous wait after race stewards announced they were investigating an incident involving French driver Romain Grosjean, who complained he had been blocked earlier in the session.
They swiftly decided to take no further action.
The Briton’s mastery of a damp but drying track lit up an overcast afternoon and the pole was the 67th of his career, sixth of the season, and gave him every chance of equalling Schumacher’s record 68 before the August break.
The triple world champion has won the last three British Grands Prix and can equal the late Jim Clark’s feat of four home wins in a row, and five in total, on Sunday.
Saturday ensured he has already matched Clark’s 50-year-old record of five British Grand Prix pole positions. (Reuters)