Lewis Hamilton lauded one of the finest moments of his Formula One career as he delivered a scintillating lap to put his Mercedes on pole position for the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton was trailing Sebastian Vettel prior to their final qualifying runs, but the Briton turned on the style with a breathless.
The enormity of Hamilton’s 76th pole, and 50th for Mercedes, was evident to see as he leapt from his parked car and delivered a double fist-pump against the backdrop of England and Union Jack flags adorning the main grandstand.
Moments after taking off his helmet, and visibly overcome with the emotion of his pole lap, Hamilton, who finished just four hundredths of a second clear, told the 100,000-strong Silverstone crowd: “I gave it everything I could.
“For me, the whole-build up, the intensity, and knowing how close we all were, makes this feel like one of the best laps I have been able to produce,” he said.
“It was one of the most pressurised laps that I have ever had. I was shaking afterwards through the emotion and the adrenalin rush. The adrenalin was off the limiter, and more than I have experienced before.
“It is my 76th pole, but is so special and I am so happy. I didn’t leave anything on the table.”
England’s opening goal against Sweden filtered through as Hamilton conducted his media duties. He celebrated by clenching his fist before adding: “I really wanted to get pole, and give a boost to England. I’ll start the wave, and let them continue.”
Vettel admitted he almost withdrew from qualifying with a neck injury, but insisted he will be fit to race. “I don’t know what happened with my neck, but it went stiff,” he said.
“We loosened it up with physio. Sleep will help, so I am not worried.”
Kimi Raikkonen lines up in third for Ferrari ahead of Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas.
The Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth.