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Lewis Hamilton takes pole at British Grand Prix

Silverstone: Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton stormed to a dominant pole position in front of his home fans in qualifying for today's British Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton. Pic/AFP
Lewis Hamilton. Pic/AFP

Hamilton, chasing a hat-trick of home wins, set a time of one minute 29.287 seconds, three-tenths of a second quicker than teammate Nico Rosberg, who completed a front-row lockout for Mercedes.

The German, however, has been summoned by the stewards for breaching a time-limit rule in the opening phase of the three-part hour-long session.

Hamilton, too, had a late-session scare when his initial lap in the pole-position shootout was deleted after the Briton fell foul of a rule forbidding drivers from running wide off the track and gaining an advantage.

Nevertheless, his second and final attempt was good enough to secure him the 55th pole position of his career and Mercedes their 15th from the last 16 races.

"Firstly I want to say how amazing and grateful I am for the fans that are here this weekend," Hamilton told reporters after the session. "The energy and the wave that they send is just mesmerising.

"Tomorrow as always is going to be a tough race. I'm giving it everything I've got."

Red Bull's Max Verstappen took third behind the Mercedes, setting a time over a second slower than Hamilton's best.

Nevertheless, the 18-year-old who scored his maiden Formula One win on his Red Bull debut in Spain, was pleased to outqualify highly rated team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for the first time.

The Australian will start fourth, ahead of the Ferrari pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

The Finn, whose contract has been extended for another season, beat his four-time champion team-mate by about six tenths of a second.

To add to his frustration, Vettel will drop five places down the grid after being penalised for an unscheduled gearbox change.

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas set the seventh fastest time, ahead of Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz. Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren's Fernando Alonso, both of whom had their times deleted for running beyond track limits, were ninth and tenth.

Hamilton, who trails championship-leader Rosberg by 11 points in the standings, has won his home race a total three times, including successive victories in 2014 and last year.

A third straight win today will see him join legendary Scotsman Jim Clark as the only driver to have won three or more British Grands Prix in a row. Clark won the race four times in a row in the sixties.

Starting alongside each other, both Hamilton and Rosberg will want to keep the racing between them clean after colliding on the final lap of the last race in Austria. They have been given a "final warning" by their Mercedes bosses and aren't expecting a repeat of last weekend's clash.

Only 21 of the 22 runners took part in yesterday's qualifying session. Swede Marcus Ericsson crashed heavily in his Sauber in the final practice session and was taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

He was released shortly after qualifying ended, however, with his Sauber team reporting that he was okay and on the way back to the circuit.

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