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REPORT: Lewis Seals Fifth British GP Pole at Silverstone

REPORT: Lewis Seals Fifth British GP Pole at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton stormed to his fifth Silverstone pole to match the great Jim Clark's long-standing British Grand Prix record.

Lewis: 'I can't really explain in words just how good that pole feels'

Lewis delivered a mighty lap of 1:26.600s to seal his 67th Formula 1 pole - his sixth of the 2017 season - and move within one pole of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.

"I can't really explain in words just how good that pole feels," said Lewis. "A fifth Silverstone pole, equal with Jim Clark, it just feels crazy to me - it's surreal to be up there with these legends.

"I'm so happy with how this weekend has gone. We started on the right foot straight from FP1 and we've built up from there. I loved the conditions in Q1 - it's tough but those changeable conditions are so much fun. Then it was all about pushing to the limit as the track dried out, extracting everything out of the car.

Lewis: 'I'm driving the best I've ever driven'

"Everything has just been so perfect and I knew it was a spectacular lap - I knew that had to be it. I feel like I'm driving the best I've ever driven, so I hope the results start to show that. It's been super tight recently, so to end up with a gap of seven tenths to the Ferraris is a nice surprise."

"I would never intentionally get in the way of anyone. I don't think I was in the way of Romain, but if I was I apologise.

"The home support has been incredible and I'm so proud to take pole here again. It blows me away to see all of the flags. There's nowhere else in the world where a driver gets this kind of love and support."

Valtteri: 'We definitely have a strong car here'

Valtteri Bottas was fourth after a lock-up at Turn 3 on his final run. But the Finn will start Sunday's British Grand Prix from P9 after taking a new gearbox ahead of the race.

"Qualifying was tough," said Valtteri. "It's not ideal to be starting P9 but we start tomorrow on a different tyre to the cars ahead of us, which could offer up some good opportunities to move forward.

"The Soft should be a good race tyre and I know anything is possible from there. I'll have to be careful to not get stuck behind traffic, but that Soft tyre should give me the opportunity to move forward as others stop.

"The balance of the car wasn't bad, but I really struggled for grip. The lock-up at Turn 3 on the final run cost me a bit of time, but it doesn't explain the gap to the front. Lewis seemed to be able to get the heat into the tyres better than me today in the cooler conditions after the rain. I just didn't have enough grip to compete for pole as the track dried out. We'll look into that tonight.

"We definitely have a strong car here and we've been competitive all weekend, so I'll be pushing all out tomorrow to make up some ground."

Toto: 'That was a really fantastic performance from Lewis'

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was delighted with Lewis' fifth Silverstone pole and while Valtteri's result wasn't so good, he expects the Finn to fight back.

"That was a really fantastic performance from Lewis," said Toto. "As he was on the final lap, we could hear the excitement from the crowd in the garage; I think this is the only country in the world where the grandstands cheer the sector times in qualifying! But Lewis put everything together at the right moment and delivered something really spectacular for the fans.

"As for Valtteri, he had a tougher job today, jumping between the tyre compounds so he could start the race on the soft tyre. It is not easy to put the laps together when you have this moving target of grip and it was particularly hard to see him lose out to Vettel by just two hundredths. But that is what it is and starting on the offset tyre compound will give him opportunities to make progress tomorrow"

James: 'That was a very intense hour'

Watching from the pit wall, Silver Arrows Technical Director James Allison was impressed with Lewis' advantage over the chasing pack in what was a challenging qualifying.

"That was a very intense hour in mixed conditions and it proved challenging for the team and drivers alike," said James.

"It was pleasing to see that the car was very competitive in all of those different conditions, with both drivers setting competitive times in both the damp early stages and the dry at the end.

"In the final reckoning, it was a little bit disappointing for Valtteri that he couldn't reproduce his strong pace on the final runs, but we know that it is challenging jumping between the tyre compounds.

"On the other side of the garage, Lewis did an epic job. It was a flawless final run and good to see him put a decent stretch of clean water between himself and the opposition, demonstrating both his and the car's pace."

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