Lewis Hamilton delights home crowd at British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton delights home crowd at British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton delivered an emphatic performance in front of his home crowd today to secure pole position for Sunday's British Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who trails his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by 11 points in the championship, had his first lap deleted by the stewards for exceeding track limits.

But the fired-up Briton returned to the Silverstone circuit to set an even quicker time to leave Rosberg trailing in his wake.

Rosberg will line up alongside his team-mate on the front row for Sunday's race but he was one third of a second slower than Hamilton.

Red Bull secured the second row with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo third and fourth on the grid.

Hamilton looked on course to cruise to the 55th pole of his career, but the defending champion was made to work for glory after he ran wide at turn nine and his opening lap in the top-10 shoot-out was scrubbed off.

The decision from the stewards promoted Rosberg to pole, but Hamilton, under great scrutiny, pulled a lap out of the bag with only minutes remaining.

"There was a lot of pressure on that last lap but I knew I couldn't let those guys down," said Hamilton, who is bidding to secure a hat-trick of victories in front of his home crowd on Sunday. "Thank you to the team for the amazing job we have done this weekend."

Rosberg added: "It wasn't the best day out there for me. Congrats to Lewis. Tomorrow there is all to play for."

While it was business as usual for Hamilton, Jenson Button's Silverstone curse extended into a 17th year after he failed to progress beyond the opening phase of qualifying.

The 2009 world champion, who has never secured a podium in front of his home crowd, was dumped out of Q1 after Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat usurped his time in the final moments.

For a moment there was some confusion as to whether Button, 36, would participate in Q2 with Kevin Magnussen's best time facing the scrap heap for exceeding track limits.

Button ran 100 yards back down the pit lane towards the McLaren garage. He suited up and jumped back in his car only to be told Magnussen's quickest lap would stand.

To add insult to injury, Magnussen's Renault team cheekily tweeted: "We have just heard that Kevin is through to #Q2. Sorry @JensonButton / @McLarenF1 #NiceRun."

It means that in his 17th home race, Button will start a lowly 17th. He will have British rookie Jolyon Palmer for company after he was again out-qualified by his team-mate and will line up in 18th on the grid.

"It was all okay in the first sector and then the rear wing became detached going through turn eight so it just slowly deteriorated from there," a dejected Button said. "We tried to fix it to go out again but there wasn't enough time."

Marcus Ericsson was taken to hospital for what his Sauber team described as "routine check-ups" following his high-speed shunt in practice. As such, he did not take part in qualifying.

Elsewhere, Sebastian Vettel will be bumped down to 11th for an unscheduled gearbox change - his second in as many races. Button's McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso will start from ninth.

Rosberg is also under investigation for an alleged rule breach relating to maximum time permitted between safety car lines in qualifying.

The German, and a representative from Mercedes, have been summoned to see the race stewards at 3.30pm.

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