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Hamilton delivers 'mental blow'

Sky Sports Sky Sports 10/07/2016

Lewis Hamilton © Press Association Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton admitted he made life difficult for himself en route to his British GP pole position - but says he never doubted he would recover from having his provisional pole time deleted.

Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg had been closely matched throughout practice and then the first stage of qualifying at Silverstone, but the Briton suddenly surged 0.7 seconds ahead in the second stage.

Hamilton followed that up with another strong lap at the start of the pole shootout, but had his time deleted by Race Control for running with all four wheels off the track at Copse. That promoted Rosberg to provisional pole, leaving Hamilton with one final attempt to overhaul the German.

Asked by Sky Sports F1 how he felt going into his final lap, Hamilton replied: "Still feeling very confident, but of course it's one lap. The first lap is always a bit of a banker.

"Going into Q3 reminded me of what my dad always used to say: don't drive too fast on the road! And you know as soon as you get down the road you drive a little bit faster, when I was younger.

"The guys said 'just get a banker lap, don't go wide'. And what did I do? The complete opposite! But, anyway, it wasn't intentional, I was really trying to get the best lap possible.

"When you come round and get pole it's a mental blow to whoever you are racing against and I wanted that. I wanted that for myself and everyone here.

"But when it got taken away, it was cool, because I knew that I had it. Nico knew I had that pace and it wasn't a small little gap, it was a good gap. So I wanted to go out and do at least that, if not better, and so that's what I did."

Sunday's race will be the fourth time in Hamilton's 10-season F1 career he has started from the head of the grid at his home race and he added: "I always like to do things the hard way! It was definitely a great feeling.

"What a crowd we have here. You can never comprehend what it feels like when I'm in the car having these guys cheers me on from corner to corner, year after year. Each year I feel stronger and more united, it's the greatest feeling ever."

Hamilton will now aim for his third consecutive Silverstone victory, and record-equaling fourth overall, in Sunday's race in front of what is expected to be a capacity race-day crowd. 

"On those out laps you can feel it. I was driving down after Turn seven, the old pit straight, and I was thinking 'I'm going to be able to hold on to this feeling for the rest of my life'," he said.

"When I'm old and when I'm coming here with a walking stick and whatever, I'll be able to carry that with me - that's a wonderful thing."

Watch the British GP live on Sky Sports F1. The race starts at 1pm on Sunday, with build-up underway at 11:30am. Or watch the race without a contract for £6.99 on NOW TV.  

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