Hamilton emerged disappointed to only qualify in fifth after threatening to disrupt Ferrari and Red Bull at the front of the grid, but is determined to challenge pole-sitter Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen.

“I hope we are closer to race pace compared to the last race,” Hamilton said on Saturday after qualifying. 

“If we are, and I can just hold on…

“I will be aggressive tomorrow, don’t worry!”

Hamilton and Mercedes have endured a disastrous 2022 season so far blighted by porpoising but, after receiving a rapturous reception from his home crowd at Silverstone, he has looked capable of fighting at the front for the first time this year.

“It makes it harder tomorrow [to start in P5] but we have a good race car,” he said. 

“It’s not the worst position to start. In previous races I would have been happy but this is the British Grand Prix and I was hopeful of more.

“I will try to pull something special out tomorrow.”

Mercedes’ hopes were raised when Hamilton’s teammate George Russell reported “no bouncing” on his team radio during Practice 3 - but he later said “there is bouncing in the rear”.

Mercedes are coming off their best result of a wretched year after Hamilton came third (his second podium of 2022) and Russell finished fourth.

That result had raised expectation for their drivers’ home race this weekend.

“The team have worked really hard to bring upgrades,” Hamilton said. “The car has improved a little bit but we still have bouncing.

“That is where particularly the Red Bulls get away from us.

“In the rain we were fighting for the front row. Until the second-to-last lap when we were asked to back off and go for the last lap. Then it rained, which was unfortunate.

“They wanted to go to a more racey power-mode for the last lap. As we did it, it rained more on the last lap.

“I was so hopeful because there was an incredible crowd and, all of a sudden, I was in the fight. I was feeling great - I was second by 0.22s.

“I was two-tenths up but they said ‘back off and go again’.

“We lost too much temperature on the cool-down lap.

“The Red Bulls are so quick. They pull away on the straights. They don’t have bouncing and we do. Particularly on the corners, that’s where they pull away.”

Hamilton earlier said to Sky: "I don’t know where the buzz was coming from. We brought some parts to the car but it wasn’t necessarily a big upgrade. But it was an improvement.

"In the dry, we wouldn’t have been able to compete for top three.

"In the rain, we had a chance.

"In the rain it’s not as fast in the high-speed corners so there is less bouncing.

"In the dry we carry more speed which means more bouncing. The bouncing is pretty bad for us.

"Our race pace was better yesterday.

"From fifth it will be tough but I’ll try to work my way forwards.

"I’m a bit gutted because we have a great crowd here, I was pushing hard to get on the front row and fight for a pole.

"We could have been in the top three, honestly. I was going for second, at least."