Hamilton takes pole at home Grand Prix

Silverstone (UK) :  Defending champion Lewis Hamilton made it eight pole positions from nine races in his Mercedes this season when he posted the fastest qualifying time for Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

The 30-year-old — who won this race last year — had struggled in practice but put those problems firmly behind him to take pole ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton presently leads Rosberg by just 10 points with the German having won three of the last four races.

“It’s a very special day for me to take pole here, the fans give me such motivation and I thank them all for their support,” said Hamilton.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

The Mercedes team’s success gave them a seventh front row lockout this season, statistics that confirm the supremacy of the Silver Arrows cars.

In a surprising last push, the two Williams cars of Brazilian Felipe Massa and Finn Valtteri Bottas took third and fourth ahead of an all-Ferrari row three to be filled by Finn Kimi Raikkonen and four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel.

Russian Daniil Kvyat was seventh for Red Bull ahead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso, German Nico Hulkenberg of Force India and Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull.

Ricciardo was one of several drivers who suffered for having a lap deleted for running off circuit at Copse to gain an advantage.

Raikkonen also got penalised after posting a fast lap. This left the indignant Finn, who believed he was permitted two wheels on the kerb, facing an exit before the top-ten shootout. He squeezed through in ninth with another lap.

The travails of the hapless McLaren team continued apace with both their former world champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button failing to qualify even for the second session and will start on the ninth row of the grid.

It was the first time since the Chinese Grand Prix in April that both McLarens were eliminated in Q1.

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