Lewis Hamilton has recalled how he watched Nigel Mansell's performances in the British Grand Prix and considered what it would be like to receive such rapturous support as he prepares to fight for a fifth win at Silverstone today.

Large crowds cheered Hamilton on to a 67th career F1 pole position yesterday, putting him on course for a fifth British Grand Prix win to bring him level with Alain Prost and Jim Clark on the all-time list.

Indeed, Hamilton says the reception of the Silverstone crowd does inspire him to push harder around a circuit deemed the most challenging of the season with the revised 2017 machines, recalling how he watched the home support cheering on Mansell when he was a kid and pondered what it would be like to experience it.

"It's really hard to put into words because... of course I grew up watching TV, I remember seeing Nigel with the support and thinking, "wow, I wonder what that feels like?" I'm sure we've all done that. I wonder what it feels like having all that focus and attention and support pointing into one spot, into me.

"I've been really privileged over the past ten years to come here and receive that love. I feel like I've really grown with the fans over this time. It definitely helps when you have good results. The fans leave... regardless if we do win they still have a great weekend but of course it helps when you have a Brit win the grand prix and British flags at P1. It really is, it's so energising.

"I think Nigel mentioned years ago, I think he said it gives you a second, maybe it's half a second. It definitely feels like it gives you something. You carry that energy."

Hamilton's lap of 1min 26.600secs was a full half second faster than fellow front row sitter Kimi Raikkonen. He comes into the race 20 points behind Sebastian Vettel in the overall standings having been out-scored by the Ferrari driver in three of the last four races.


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