Hamilton: 'Surreal' to take fifth Silverstone pole, match Clark's record

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 15, 2017

Home favourite Lewis Hamilton was beaten to top spot by his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in both practice sessions for the British Grand Prix yesterday.

Hamilton's name was jeered when his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff tried to explain the absence of the three-time world champion.

"You always try to save the best till last", said Hamilton, who closed to within one of Michael Schumacher's record of 68 poles.

Grosjean was informed of the stewards decision by RACER, having not been called to give his version of events, and Haas driver was left frustrated at the way the incident was dealt with.

"I had to make sure I got that lap in". The only British world champion on the grid and one of the sport's biggest draws, Hamilton was conspicuous by his absence as F1 cars raced up Whitehall, performed donuts and slid around Trafalgar Square in the first such initiative aimed at bringing the fans closer to the sport under its new owners.

Hamilton said he did "everything I can to genuinely connect" with his supporters already.

Ricciardo then asked Pascal Wehrlein why he was not invited, the Sauber driver jokingly replying: "I don't know, maybe he doesn't think that I'm nice".

With the recent demonstration made in the national capital, London could very well be hosting the British Grand Prix, post 2019. Another win, plus some bad luck knocking his competition back into the pack, and Bottas is right back in the middle of the fight for the championship lead.

On Thursday, when he faced reporters at Silverstone, Hamilton said he hadn't heard about the booing. Fans mean everything to me. Mercedes has said that the same issue that caused Lewis Hamilton to require an unscheduled gearbox change in Austria has affected Bottas's vehicle as well. They did a great job in the last race so to see Red Bull up there I think is great, to see a three-way team challenge. 'It's unbelievable.' The auto really came alive.

Max Verstappen starts fifth for Ref Bull (Ricciardo suffered a turbo failure in Q1), and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg did a good job to put his vehicle in sixth.

Stoffel Vandoorne took an encouraging ninth for McLaren ahead of Grosjean.

It started to rain 12 minutes before the session, leading to a flurry of drivers going out at the start of Q1 using a mix of intermediate and slick rubber before it emerged it was too damp for the latter.

As the circuit dried, the times tumbled with wild movements of positions.

Alonso will start at the back thanks to a 30-place grid penalty for new power unit components being introduced. "That's the second time - in Austria it was the same thing".

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