Published: Sat, July 09, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Hamilton takes pole in last qualifying lap at British GP

Lewis Hamilton held his nerve to grab pole position ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for Sunday's British Grand Prix with a spectacular lap in the final seconds of an intense qualifying session.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was half a second adrift in third place ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and Valtteri Bottas of Williams.

Hamilton's first attempt was 0.097s quicker than Mercedes teammate Rosberg before a 17-minute stoppage was induced by Marcus Ericsson crashing on the exit of Stowe.

Behind the Mercedes front row and Red Bull second row, it's a disappointing qualifying for Ferrari, with Raikkonen in fifth and Vettel qualifying in sixth, although he'll start in 11th after another five-place penalty for a new gearbox for the second race running.

Rosberg, who leads Hamilton by 11 points after nine of this year's 21 races, was terse in his replies to questions.

Lewis Hamilton topped the times in the second practice of the British Grand Prix. It was a lot of pressure. If Hamilton were the team boss, he said that he'd want his drivers racing and not worrying about team orders.

"I'm not happy with my lap, the auto was better than this morning", Vettel said. I don't know if it was a mistake he made in turn two, it may have been his brake issue, but we collided and obviously I was able to still continue to go.

"We need to make the auto quicker, to put more downforce in it, make it more efficient at the same time, and add a bit of power".

"It was not the cleanest qualifying session", Hamilton was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

TAKING TOP spot on the podium following his victory at the Austrian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton brushed off the chorus of boos ringing out from fans at trackside by simply stating: "I am here to win".

The world championship-leading Mercedes driver was summoned to see the stewards after he was found to have exceeded the maximum time allowed for a lap between two safety vehicle lines during Q1. "If the drivers do not honor the revised Rules of Engagement, we may impose team orders as a solution of last resort".

"The auto is definitely feeling good, but we've definitely got some work to do with the balance", he reported, "What is really hard is to pinpoint exactly where the target is from corner to corner - because of the wind, the target is moving everywhere".

Nico Hulkenberg was eighth for Force India, then the two Spaniards, Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and two-time champion Fernando Alonso in the resurgent McLaren Honda.

Hamilton has won three world championships and 46 races, so only Michael Schumacher (91) and Alain Prost (51) stand ahead of him.

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