Lewis Hamilton admits he felt pressure to perform on his final effort in qualifying for the British Grand Prix after his first Q3 lap was deleted because of track limits.
Having signalled his intentions early in qualifying by smashing the existing Silverstone lap record from 2010 in Q2 alone, Hamilton looked to have done enough to secure pole position in Q3 when he stopped the clock at 1min 29.339secs.
However, Hamilton's hopes were dealt a blow when stewards deleted the time after he was deemed to have abused track limits, replays duly confirming he had run too wide beyond the kerb on the exit of Copse.
Putting the emphasis on his second and final soft tyre run, coming just a month after he fluffed his last gasp effort in Baku, Hamilton made no mistake this time, going even quicker with 1min 29.287secs despite saying it 'wasn't as good'.
Giving him a four tenth margin over title rival Nico Rosberg, Hamilton admits the pressure to succeed on that one lap in front of both the team and the home fans was nerve-wracking.
“It was not the cleanest qualifying session,” he conceded. “I think we had really good pace in Q1, just ran wide a bit at Turn 3 and lost four tenths there. And then after that I had really good pace and the penultimate lap was a very good lap. But unfortunately it was taken away.
“I touched the kerb and it pulled me further. I wasn't actually… it didn't feel like I was running wide. The car just bottomed and bounced just outside the line. There was a lot of pressure for that last lap. But I was just sitting in the garage and I knew that I had to… I couldn't let the guys down because obviously on the first lap I had.
“Second lap wasn't so good, but I was making sure I got that lap in. I am grateful that I did and again thankful also to my team, who have done an amazing job to have the performance we have this weekend. It is outstanding.”
Seeking his third win at Silverstone, Hamilton says he will be 'giving everything' in his pursuit to close down the 11 point margin to Rosberg at the head of the standings.
“Fortunately the fans give me more than enough motivation. But tomorrow as always is going to be a very tough race. It is important we do are due diligence tonight and tomorrow morning to understand the strategy and the tyres. I am going to give it everything I have got.
“I think my long run pace yesterday was very strong and I think I have the car in a real nice place - balanced for both qualifying and the race. We shall see. We are obviously starting on the right root and can't wait to see everyone tomorrow.”