Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes).

TV Unilaterals.

Q:
Lewis, you've scored the fiftieth pole for the McLaren Mercedes partnership, your third pole of the season, and the first British driver to be on pole for his home Grand Prix since 1996. A fantastic qualifying session, the last to come in for new tyres, you timed it perfectly.

Lewis Hamilton:
Yeah, I can hear everyone outside... No, it was an extremely intensive qualifying session. Obviously, the Ferraris are extremely quick and so was Fernando and it was all down to the last lap, making sure... The first timed lap on new tyres in Q3 wasn't very good. I lost a bit of time in turn one, and really I just had to pull it all out. I think I really did quite a sweet job of putting the lap together and I'm very very fortunate to have done it, but I couldn't have done it without the team changing the tyres quickly and getting me out on time. So thank you to them but I'm very excited about tomorrow now.

Q:
You were fourth fastest after that first new set, and as you've been saying all weekend, very difficult conditions; talk us through the lap.

LH:
Well, I've been struggling in sector one. It's where I've been losing two tenths of a second, especially to Fernando, so this time I came across the line and going up to the first corner flat out, trying to hold it flat. I didn't do it flat out but I nearly did and so I knew that I had already gained a tenth and a half, nearly two tenths. Then trying to maintain it for the rest of the lap was obviously extremely difficult, but I was able to do it at the last couple of corners. I knew I was up, about three tenths or something. When you've got that sort of pressure on you - I could see so many fans out there, it's been fantastic today and really to see the support that I've got, it's unreal. I pulled out the lap, I was really really happy when I came across the line and saw the reaction of the fans. It's great to be home and I get an extra buzz.

Q:
What was your slow in-lap like with the crowd?

LH:
I nearly lost my voice! I came across the line and I could hear the crowd - I don't know if they could hear me but I was screaming just as loud as them.

Q:
Kimi, it looked as if the pole was in your hands as well. We saw you running just a little bit wide coming out of the last corner but what was the rest of the lap like?

Kimi Raikkonen:
Yeah, it was good, but unfortunately I ran off the circuit exiting the last corner, so we lost a lot of time but that's not something we can change any more so there was definitely speed enough for pole position.

Q:
You've been looking very fast since Friday morning, your first front row start since the Australian Grand Prix at the start of the season; you look to be in confident mood.

KR:
Yeah, but a bit disappointed really now, but hopefully we can get a good start and then it's a long race so we will see how we can do.

Q:
And the conditions here at Silverstone? It seems pretty bumpy and also very gusty.

KR:
Yeah, I think the wind has been quite difficult all weekend. It wasn't as bad today as it was yesterday so for me it's not too bumpy but it's the wind which makes it more difficult and tricky.

Q:
Fernando, fastest qualifying time of the three sessions but going into Q3, what were your aspirations and how was that last lap for you?

Fernando Alonso:
It was quite good, no big problems with the lap. I'm quite happy with the car, how we performed all today: P3, Q1, Q2 and Q3. Obviously we want to be on pole position but third place is the best we could do today and hopefully tomorrow a good set-up on the car for the race will pay off and hopefully we can overtake people in the race.

Q:
And we'll see, of course, what strategy you're on tomorrow, but you have looked very quick from the start of practice on Friday.

FA:
Yeah, on Friday we tried to work a little bit with the set-up in terms of race pace and things like that, tried to understand the tyres as well, how they performed. Yesterday I was not completely happy with the car and our pace, maybe, didn't seem too good but overnight we did some changes to the set-up, the team did a fantastic job, and today I found a completely different car, much quicker and I was able to be quickest in nearly all the sessions so no reason not to be optimistic for tomorrow.

Q:
Lewis, I'm sure you've felt the pressure here. Tell us what it's like for you this weekend, and also, just to add to the pressure that every time you've won the pole, you've also won the race.

LH:
Yeah. I feel quite relaxed coming into this weekend. I don't know about other drivers but I've been someone - I don't know if it's part of my personality - but I like to make people happy and when I'm out there and I sign extra autographs, to see the amount of support you have, to see the flags waving, and when I drive round, I do see the Hamilton flags and all that. So I get a big buzz from that and a lot of energy, so I'm finding this weekend quite a positive weekend for me and for sure, there's pressure but the most pressure comes from myself. So going into tomorrow I'm going to do the best job I can and we'll see what happens.

Press conference.

Q:
Lewis, you should have seen your father in the pit lane, or maybe you did, on the big screen!

LH:
I was too busy celebrating myself in the cockpit. I nearly lost my voice.

Q:
Were you digging deeper than ever for that lap?

LH:
Yeah, I was, because unfortunately I wasn't quick enough in the previous runs and throughout the whole weekend, we've been struggling to... well, I've been struggling to a certain point to really fine-tune the car and also my driving because each time I'm improving, I'm finding something new and a lot of it's to do with the experience and experience on this circuit... It's so quick through the first sector, you really need to slowly build up to the limit and I've been building and building and building. So for that lap, I knew that I was fourth or something and it was all down to that lap. I came into the first corner and I tried to do it quicker than ever, and it was the same for the rest of the lap. I just had to maintain the pace that I already had from turn one and really, that's as deep as I've had to dig for a long long time.

Q:
You also thought it was a bit tight on time; in actual fact you had thirty seconds.

LH:
I was quite relaxed. I know that the team - they're very very good at calculating how much time we had and I came in and I knew I had plenty of time. I wasn't actually asking how much time we had left, I wanted to know the gap, how much quicker I was. But I think the team did a fantastic job to get us out, in and out as quick as possible, for me and Fernando, but just through the whole weekend there's been a lot of pressure not only on me but also the team.

Q:
What do you think the crowd is worth per lap, how many tenths is the support worth?

LH:
I wouldn't be able to say just how much time you gain but you definitely get a confidence boost and to see the support, it's just not one group of people in the stands like it often is in certain areas, certain places. But here it's just the whole grandstand and I can't believe how many people are here today. It's been fantastic and I really do appreciate the support.

Q:
Kimi, obviously you feel disappointed not to be on pole.

KR:
Yeah, because I made a mistake in the last corner, or exiting the last corner. It's basically straight already but I was on the grass so it didn't help. I didn't lift, but I just lost all the traction. The sand was flying everywhere, so it's a bit disappointing really.

Q:
How difficult do you feel it's going to be to make up that place?

KR:
First of all, they're on the good side at the start, and I think that's the biggest issue. In the race, it depends a lot on how much fuel we have against the others, but I think we have a fast race car, so we wait until tomorrow.

Q:
And you've been so quick over the last couple of days.

KR:
Yeah, we definitely have good speed in the car, good set-up, so we haven't lost anything yet, but it makes life much more difficult, starting from the second place than from the first. But it's still not impossible, definitely not.

Q:
Fernando, fastest in Q2 which is the ultimate speed. That must have been very satisfying.

FA:
Yeah, all day in P3, Q1, Q2 being fastest. Also I was quite happy with the car. Regarding yesterday, we had a couple of problems with the balance of the car. I was not totally happy and overnight we made some changes and today I felt much more confident. For the race, it's looking good, it's looking quite good for us and hopefully I can make up some places immediately after the start of the race and around the pit stop area.

Q:
What areas did you improve on the car?

FA:
The rear end of the car. Yesterday it was a little bit loose and (I was) finding oversteer a little bit everywhere and that was costing us a lot of time. With some changes, with some new ideas from the engineers, they did a fantastic job and today the car felt completely different and I was able to really enjoy the lap.

Q:
And just one and a half tenths difference between yourself and Lewis.

FA:
Yes, enough to be third, so at the end of the day, I think in qualifying it doesn't matter how much time you are in front or behind. The important thing is the positions and I'm third, so hopefully tomorrow I can change this position.

 

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