SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Lewis Hamilton demonstrated the sangfroid of a champion and the enthusiasm of a rookie when he shrugged off intense pressure and expectation to take pole position in the British Grand Prix on Saturday. Knowing he had only one chance with just three minutes remaining, Hamilton responded with a spectacular lap in the final seconds of a dramatic qualifying session.
SILVERSTONE, England (AP) — Lewis Hamilton demonstrated the sangfroid of a champion and the enthusiasm of a rookie when he shrugged off intense pressure and expectation to take pole position in the British Grand Prix on Saturday.
Knowing he had only one chance with just three minutes remaining, Hamilton responded with a spectacular lap in the final seconds of a dramatic qualifying session.
After his first flying run in Q3 was deleted because he went off the track, he edged Formula One leader and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by three-tenths of a second.
That lifted him to his fourth pole at his home grand prix, his sixth pole this season, and the 55th of his career, a week after his and Rosberg's last-lap crash in Austria, where Hamilton seized a controversial victory and sent their team into damage-limitation mode.
"Those moments are when I am most excited," Hamilton said.
"Being under pressure is something not to shy away from, it's something to attack full on. Honestly, the pressure, it energizes me.
"Every single lap I go out, and every single corner I see the crowd, they wave. There is nowhere in the world I can ever experience that, and I wish people could feel what I feel."
Meanwhile, Rosberg was called to the stewards' office to explain an irregular slow lap. He may have breached sporting regulations for a nearly 2 1/2-minute lap during Q1. The FIA race director Charlie Whiting sent the teams a note on Friday stating the permitted maximum time was 1 minute, 45 seconds.
The rule exists to help reduce the risk of accidents caused by slow drivers interfering with others on fast laps.
The FIA said in a statement that Rosberg exceeded the permitted maximum time between two safety car lines at the start of Q1. He faces a grid penalty, reprimand or fine.
Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was third fastest, followed by Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, and Valtteri Bottas of Williams.
F1 titleholder Hamilton and series leader Rosberg are set to start together on the front row, and confirmed they understood their responsibility to avoid another collision as they race under revised team rules of engagement, following a last-lap crash in the Austrian GP last Sunday.
"I didn't think there was anything that needed to be cleared up," Hamilton added. "I will try not to be in that position again. Tomorrow we are going to race, race like we always do."
Rosberg, who leads Hamilton by 11 points after nine of this year's 21 races, was terse in his replies to questions.
Was it all clear now between him and Hamilton? "Very clear," he said without a smile.
While Vettel was sixth in qualifying, he will start 11th after taking a five-place penalty for a gearbox change for a second straight race.
"Today was good," Verstappen said. "We are strong compared to the cars behind us, but it seems like the Mercedes has a turbo button."
Nico Hulkenberg was eighth for Force India, then the two Spaniards, Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and two-time champion Fernando Alonso in the resurgent McLaren Honda.
Like Hamilton, Alonso had his best lap deleted for going off the track, an action that dropped him from eighth to 10th.