4 July 2015
F1 British Grand Prix: Hamilton delighted with pole after difficult weekend
Lewis Hamilton thanked the loyal British support for spurring him on to pole position for round nine of the F1 world championship at Silverstone.
Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was 'really, really happy' to have been able to claim pole position for his home grand prix after a troubled weekend at Silverstone.
Although the Briton topped final practice on Saturday morning, it was Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg who returned to the head of the timesheets through the first two phases of qualifying, controlling the pace just as he had throughout Friday. Hamilton, however, turned up the wick when it mattered, benefiting from a new set of tyres to replace the flat-spotted set that got him through Q2 – and on which he will have to start Sunday's British Grand Prix – and posting a 1m 32.248s marker on his first run.
When he then failed to improve on his sector times second time around, and ultimately decided to abort his lap, it opened the door for Rosberg, but the German – like many in the top ten shoot-out – also fell short of his previous run, confirming a very popular pole for Hamilton.
“It's a special day,” the Briton admitted, “It's special when you get pole position here on your home turf, when you see all those fans out there. So many people have come here today and this weekend and they really do motivate me, so it's particularly special when you do get the pole.
“I am extremely fortunate to have had two wins here and the support has been incredible every year. I think it's the banners that are out there, the flags, the team caps, the messages that get sent every day through social media – they really create the atmosphere and the buzz. When I'm about to start my lap, or when I finish one, I look out the corner of my eye and know those guys are there, right behind you, and that wave of energy they give should help us tomorrow.”
Hamilton may need a little more than Nigel Mansell's celebrated 'one second a lap' from the crowd when he refits the flat-spotted tyres from Q2 but, after a tricky build-up to qualifying, the polesitter is confident that he may have found the tweak to make him competitive on raceday.
“Generally, it's not been the smoothest of weekends,” he confirmed, “It's been a bit up and down in terms of set-up and balance and getting laps, but I made changes to the car going into qualifying which, while perhaps not spectacular for a quali lap, hopefully should be good for the race.
“I'm really, really happy that, having got to Q3, I could go flat-out and get that lap in. I'm incredibly happy and thank you to everyone for their support.”
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