Formula 1

Hamilton blows away rivals to claim British GP pole

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Lewis Hamilton took a brilliant pole position at the British Grand Prix with a scintillating lap which put him almost half a second clear of team-mate Nico Rosberg.

The Mercedes driver, who last took pole at Silverstone back in 2007, blew the rest of the competition away with a lap of 1:29:607 which left even reigning world champion Sebastian Vettep wondering if he had "taken a shortcut".

"It's an incredible feeling," said Hamilton afterwards. "It feels like 2007.

"The crowd have been great - such a great turnout - that was a lap for them. I hope we can do something special in the race."

Mercedes locked out the front row with Rosberg edging ahead of Vettel who claimed 3rd on the grid, with Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber less than 100th of a second back.

While the BRackley-based team were expected to be quick in qualifying they may well drop back during the race as has been the norm this season, but Rosberg is hopeful that both he and Hamilton can buck the trend.

"It's definitely a great feeling to have the fastest car and the Mercedes team did a great job," the German said.

"We are confident we have improved and some of the other cars may be better than us but finishing top two can only be good for us."

It was a bad day at the office for Vettel's championship rivals Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, who could only qualify in 10th and 9th respectively. 

Both Ferrari drivers in particular looked to be struggling having been tipped to challenge for the race win on Sunday.

Felipe Massa could only manage 12th, and afterwards Alonso was forced to concede that a host of updates on the cars weren't working as well as he had hoped. Limited running on Friday, thanks to the weather and Massa hitting the barrier at Copse corner didn't help their cause either.

Paul di Resta deserves special mention for his best ever qualifying performance in the Force India.Team-mate Adrian Sutil can also be happy with his quickest lap which put him in 7th.

Di Resta claimed 5th place on the grid to put him in with an excellent chance of claiming some serious points in what is effectively his home race. 

Sadly that can't be sad of another home favourite, Jenson Button, who failed to make it into Q3. The 2009 champions looked assured early on in Q1 - telling his team over the radio that he had a surprising amount of grip - but both he and team-mate Sergio Perez failed to set a time quick enough to make it into the final shootout.

Much of the talk this weekend has been about who will replace Webber when he leaves Red Bull at the end of the season and both Torro Rosso drivers were seemingly doing their best to show they were up for the job.

Both Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne looked to be on the pace in Friday practice and carried that over into Saturday, earning 6th and 13th respectively to put them in contention for some serious points.

Formula 1

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