April 20, 2021

Hamilton shatters records amid ‘weirdest time’

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Hamilton completes fastest ever lap of Silverstone and takes the record for the most pole positions at a home GP; Sunday’s British GP starts at 2pm on Sky Sports F1, Main Event and Sky One

By James Galloway

Last Updated: 01/08/20 5:17pm

4:06
Lewis Hamilton brilliantly recovered from a spin to demolish Silverstone’s lap record and claim pole position for his home British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton brilliantly recovered from a spin to demolish Silverstone’s lap record and claim pole position for his home British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton described his record-shattering Silverstone pole lap as being “right on the ragged edge” – although admitted his joy was tempered by the absence of the roaring home British GP crowd.

Becoming the first driver to claim seven pole positions at his home Grand Prix – beating the record of six he jointly held with his Brazilian hero Ayrton Senna – Hamilton also set a new track record for the current Silverstone layout.

His run to pole in Q3 came despite failing to top any session up to that point in the weekend – with Q2 even featuring a rare mistake and spin from the six-time champion.

“We made some changes going in to qualifying and it wasn’t quite so great. It was better in P3,” said Hamilton to Sky Sports F1.

“But there are so many elements of the car that are fantastic and we’re still learning about it, still trying to understand how to improve it.

“That last lap was really right on the ragged edge and the most that I could get from it.”

1:37
Lewis Hamilton lost control of his Mercedes, kicking gravel onto the circuit during Q2 of the British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton lost control of his Mercedes, kicking gravel onto the circuit during Q2 of the British Grand Prix.

And while the driving challenge of Silverstone remains immense armed with the fastest car in the sport’s history, Hamilton admitted the lack of a vast home crowd due to the COVID-19 restrictions meant the event wasn’t quite the same.

“It’s such a tricky circuit but I have to say, I think it might be my favourite circuit just because of how fast it is,” said the six-time Silverstone winner.

“The speed that we have now through Maggots and Becketts is faster than ever before. It’s just missing one thing – and that’s the fans.

“The thing is once you pull that visor down, you’re in such a zone that if I’m really honest, those laps, it’s so heated, you’re so focused that it was like back to normal business.

“But when you finish the lap and notice there’s no flags and there’s all these different things missing, people do really make this race as special as it’s always been. I hope everyone enjoyed it still.”

Hamilton added: “I’m missing the fans. The greatest grandstands around here and it’s just the weirdest time. I wake up every day and it’s like Groundhog Day with this whole COVID experience. We have to be in a bubble, we can’t be around people, which I’m sure it’s similar back there [for people at home].”