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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Hamilton on pole for British GP

July 07, 2007 19:42 IST

McLaren's Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton [Images] screamed to an emotional pole position for his home British Grand Prix on Saturday.

With the crowd standing and roaring their adulation on a bright afternoon at Silverstone, the 22-year-old rookie sensation pipped Ferrari's [Images] Kimi Raikkonen [Images] in the dying seconds with a stunning lap of one minute 19.997 seconds.

It was the third pole position of an extraordinary, nine-race career that has already seen Hamilton win twice from the top slot on the starting grid.

"I came across the line and I could hear the crowd," said Hamilton, the first black driver to win a race and now the first British driver on pole at Silverstone since former champion Damon Hill with Williams in 1996.

"I don't know if they could hear me but I was screaming just as loud as them."

Hamilton had been fourth just before the chequered flag fell but he put everything into his final run around the former World War Two airfield to push the Finn aside and blast to pole position.

"It was an extremely intense qualifying session," said the rookie. "It was all down to the last lap. I just had to pull it all out and I think I did quite a sweet job of putting the lap together. I'm very excited about tomorrow now."


McLaren's double world champion Fernando Alonso [Images], winner in Britain last year with Renault, qualified third with Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa [Images] alongside him on the second row.

The Spaniard, who said earlier in the week that McLaren would be happier if his team mate won in Britain, did his best to put a brave face on being dealt yet another setback to his title hopes.

"We wanted to be on pole position but third is the best we could do today," said Alonso, who had been quickest in the first two sessions of the three-part qualifying. "Hopefully we can overtake people in the race.

"Tomorrow I will try to win the race, that's for sure."

Hamilton, chasing his ninth successive podium in Sunday's race, leads Alonso by 14 points in the championship. Massa is third, 17 points behind the Briton, with Raikkonen a further five adrift.

McLaren are 25 points clear of Ferrari.

While Hamilton celebrated, there was misery for his compatriot Jenson Button [Images].

The Honda driver, who missed Friday's second practice due to back pains, failed to get through the first session and will start 18th in his home race -- his lowest qualifying position of the season.

"It's disappointing. The car wasn't going to go a lot quicker but it would have been nice to get into Q2," said the Briton, who complained of a BMW [Images] holding him up on his first quick run.

"The back's fine, It's hurting but not slowing me down. I'll have physio on it this afternoon and it shouldn't be a problem."

Provisional starting grid for the British Grand Prix:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari
3. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren
4. Felipe Massa (Brazil [Images]) Ferrari
5. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber
6. Ralf Schumacher (Germany [Images]) Toyota
7. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Renault
8. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy [Images]) Renault
9. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber
10. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota
11. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault
12. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull - Renault
13. Alexander Wurz (Austria) Williams - Toyota
14. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda
15. Scott Speed (U.S.) Toro Rosso - Ferrari
16. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Toro Rosso - Ferrari
17. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams - Toyota
18. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda
19. Anthony Davidson (Britain) Super Aguri - Honda
20. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Spyker - Ferrari
21. Takuma Sato (Japan [Images]) Super Aguri - Honda
22. Christijan Albers (Netherlands) Spyker - Ferrari

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