Roared on by a huge 86,000 fans at a packed-out Silverstone on Friday evening, the Williams driver produced another superb qualifying display as he secured a spot in Q3 for the second consecutive race.

Russell was greeted by a massive cheer as he crossed the line with a lap time good enough for eighth on the grid for Saturday’s 100km sprint race.

After qualifying, Russell told Channel 4 that he was “lost for words” as he credited the support from the crowd as being key to his latest impressive performance.

“Incredible, incredible,” he said. “Damon Hill told me the crowd’s worth a second and I thought he was lying but maybe he’s right.

“Incredible support and an amazing feeling, second Q3, and we’re on this roll at the moment. Being here, seeing everybody, everything together, it’s great.

“I had a bit of a rubbish FP1 so I knew I needed to step it up for quali and we did that.”

Asked what he felt had made the difference in qualifying following his practice struggles, Russell replied: “I don’t know.

“The track was a bit green, we were a bit lost with the set-up and we said right, let’s go back to basics, don’t overthink it, let the track come to us.

“I went out first lap Q1 and I knew we were in a good spot, buzzing to be honest. And my family are here, they haven’t been to a race since Abu Dhabi 2019 so that’s nice for me as well, and for them.”

And the 21-year-old Briton has no plans to hold back in the sprint race as he looks to capitalise on any drivers favouring a cautious approach.

“I think a lot of guys will try and play it a bit easy as they want a good starting position for Sunday but we’re going for it,” he explained.

“It’s another race for me, I want to move forward and fight with these guys around me, and have the best starting position possible for Sunday.

“So I’m treating it like any other Sunday – Saturday this time – and just going for it.”