Lewis Hamilton: This car can repeat my 2008 triumph in British GP

Briton starts on pole today – but Scot Di Resta is sent to back of the grid

silverstone

When you've had a tough time with a faster-than-expected team-mate and need to reassert yourself, there's no place like home to do it. And in front of 90,000 cheering spectators at Silverstone yesterday, Lewis Hamilton did exactly that.

However, British fans were left disappointed when the Scot Paul Di Resta, having finished fifth on the grid, was later disqualified from qualifying and will now start from the back.

Mercedes's qualifying pace has been undisputed this season, but Red Bull have won three of the past four British Grands Prix, and the showdown between the two teams did not disappoint.

Hamilton opened the bowling with the fastest time in the first session before Vettel asserted himself in the second. They went head to head in the third. Vettel's Red Bull team-mate, Mark Webber, set the pace initially before Hamilton's partner, Nico Rosberg, beat him, but then Hamilton stamped his authority with a time of 1min 30.096sec.

In the second runs, Rosberg went back in front with 1:30.059, but Hamilton's answer was emphatic with the only sub-1:30 lap of the weekend – timed at 1:29.607 – and left the local hero in a league of his own.

"For the first time since 2008 I had a car with which I could really compete here," he said afterwards. "I really hope I can deliver tomorrow."

At the end, Vettel shaved down to 1:30.211 to beat Webber by a fraction. If the German champion couldn't take pole position – and that was beyond Red Bull's reach, such was the pace of the two Mercedes – then third was the next best place, since it lined him up behind Hamilton on the cleaner side of the grid.

The Lewis Hamilton who faced the media afterwards here was a far cry from the man we'd seen in Canada. He was relaxed and smiling, and whatever it was that he'd had on his mind in Montreal had disappeared. His satisfaction with a job brilliantly done oozed from every pore as he described just how that final lap had felt.

"You have a delta time, so you can tell as soon as you go into Turn One whether you are up on that or not. You can be struggling and then you keep checking after each corner or sector, but this time by Turn Nine I could see that I was two-and-a-half tenths up, and I really didn't want to lose that so I was taking extra care.

"You also feel it when you have the tyres and the brakes up to temperature and the car beneath you, and it's not trying to get away from you. Sometimes it's like a wild bull and you are trying to tame it, but this time it really felt like 2007 [when he took pole position in his rookie year], though the car was so loud I couldn't hear the crowd roaring this time."

Beside him, his team-mate, Rosberg, smiled, saying: "We have been having a big battle all season and we are usually very close, but" – and here he smiled more– "not today.

"As a team we've been having a really big push, and Lewis and I push each other all the time, and we're very lucky to have a great atmosphere in the team where everyone is working in the same direction."

The big question, however, is how much Mercedes's tyre-degradation problems will hamper their race performance.

Behind them, Di Resta did the perfect job to take fifth place on the grid and was handily placed to challenge for his first F1 podium finish.

How sad, then, that for the third race in a row his team let him down. The stewards last night put him to the back of the grid after a post-qualifying weight check revealed his car to be 1.5 kg below the 642 kg minimum.

There was also disappointment for Jenson Button, who lost out to Kimi Raikkonen on the final Q3 slot. "The fans were unbelievable," Button said afterwards. "I will drive my heart out [today] for a good result."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering