Pole position for Lewis Hamilton in British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton put his Mercedes on pole position for the British Grand Prix today with a scintillating final lap.

Hamilton turned on the style to claim his fourth consecutive pole at Silverstone and edge out his championship rival Sebastian Vettel by just 0.044 seconds.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen qualified third with Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas fourth.

Hamilton, bidding to move ahead of Jim Clark and Alain Prost with his sixth victory in Britain, and his fifth in succession in front of the partisan Silverstone crowd, trailed Vettel prior to the final runs.

But the 33-year-old Englishman delivered a breathless time with his final throw of the dice to see off the competition from both Ferrari cars and start Sunday's race as the favourite to claim a historic win.

"I gave it everything I could," said a breathless Hamilton moments after getting out of his car and sealing his 50th pole for Mercedes.

Standing in front of the main stand, he added: "It was so close between the Ferraris. I was just praying I could do it for you guys. I am so grateful for the support and without you I wouldn't have been able to do it."

Vettel, who revealed he almost pulled out of the running with a neck injury, added: "To be honest this morning I was not sure I could do qualifying. I am happy but I lost some time on the straight."

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