Hamilton relieved after qualifying late show


Lewis Hamilton was relieved to overcome a deleted lap time and claim a fourth British Grand Prix pole at Silverstone on Saturday.

Stewards took a zero-tolerance approach to track-limit breaches in certain areas of the circuit, with a number of drivers penalised for taking all four wheels outside the white lines.

Hamilton was the highest-profile offender, leaving him with one final quick lap in Q3 to oust Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg from pole.

The Briton shaved three tenths off Rosberg's time to maintain the domination he had demonstrated in all three practice sessions.

"It wasn't the cleanest qualifying session," he said. "We had great pace all the way through, but I ran a bit wide on my first Q3 lap and had that time taken away.

"I just touched the kerb and it really pulled me out there. I didn't even feel like I was going to be running wide until the car bottomed out and I just bounced outside the line, so then there was a lot of pressure on my final lap.

"I was just sitting there in the garage thinking 'I can't let these guys down'.

"The second lap didn't feel quite as good but I was a bit more cautious - making sure I got the lap on the board. I'm grateful that I managed it and grateful to the team too for all their hard work in giving us the performance we have this weekend."

Hamilton is looking to become the first man to win three successive British Grands Prix since Jim Clark completed his treble in 1965, but the defending champion insists he is not motivated by history.

"The fans give me more than enough motivation," he added. 

"Tomorrow will be a tough race, as always, and it's important we do our due diligence tonight and tomorrow morning to make sure we're on top of tyres, strategy and so on.

"But my long run pace yesterday was strong and I feel like I've got the car in a good place underneath me in terms of balance for the race.

"I can't wait to see everyone out there again tomorrow."