Lewis Hamilton revealed a few deep breaths were key to the comeback which saw him avoid qualifying heartache and secure pole for Sunday’s British Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver set a stunning new lap record at Silverstone to ensure he’ll start at the very front of the grid for the 91st time in his F1 career.
The pole is Hamilton’s seventh at the Northamptonshire circuit and the eighth Mercedes have secured on the bounce at the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton was elated to have recovered from a spin in Q2 to fend off team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who will join him on the front row, ahead of third-fastest qualifier Max Verstappen.
“There’s a relatively big gap, obviously, between us and third place, but it doesn’t matter,” Hamilton said. “Valtteri’s pushing me right to the end, to the limit and he’d been doing such a fantastic job all weekend. I made some changes going into qualifying and it was worse, so it was a real struggle out there.
“This track is just awesome because, with a gust of wind, you have a head wind, a tail wind and a cross wind in different parts of the circuit. So it’s like juggling balls whilst you’re on a moving plate at high speed.
“Obviously we had that spin – qualifying’s a lot about confidence building – and damn I had that spin and I was already down, I was struggling through the first sector on every lap and I don’t know how – some deep breaths – managed to compose myself.
“Q3, started off the right way, still wasn’t perfect the first lap but still a really clean lap. And the second one even better. It never gets old, that’s for sure.”
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