Lewis Hamilton was left awestruck by his attainment of a record-equalling fifth pole position at Silverstone, putting him level with double world champion Jim Clark.
Hamilton swept away his championship rivals in emphatic style during qualifying, beating nearest challenger Kimi Raikkonen to pole for the British Grand Prix by over half a second. Between the level of domination in his pole margin and being tied with the universally respected Clark for poles around the Northamptonshire track, he was left struggling to express how he felt afterwards.
“I can’t really explain in words just how good that pole feels,” he said. “A fifth Silverstone pole, equal with Jim Clark, it just feels crazy to me – it’s surreal to be up there with these legends.”
“I feel like I’m driving the best I’ve ever driven, so I hope the results start to show that. It’s been super tight recently, so to end up with a gap of seven tenths to the Ferraris is a nice surprise.”
Having lost a potential victory at Baku with a detached headrest, getting into a post-race war of words with his main championship rival Sebastian Vettel at the same race, and then having to recover from a grid penalty to finish fourth at the Red Bull Ring, Hamilton was much more positive about his weekend so far after securing the pole position.
“I’m so happy with how this weekend has gone. We started on the right foot straight from FP1 and we’ve built up from there. I loved the conditions in Q1 – it’s tough but those changeable conditions are so much fun. Then it was all about pushing to the limit as the track dried out, extracting everything out of the car. Everything has just been so perfect and I knew it was a spectacular lap – I knew that had to be it.”
Only days after the Baku controversy had started to die down, another had started up thanks to Hamilton electing to miss the public F1 Live London event on Wednesday. He reiterated his positive feelings about the support he gets from his home fans, looking to reinforce that he was not negating them by taking time off for a holiday instead of attending the fan event.
“The home support has been incredible and I’m so proud to take pole here again. It blows me away to see all of the flags. There’s nowhere else in the world where a driver gets this kind of love and support.”