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Published: 14:20 | 9/7/16

Hamilton on pole for British GP


Lewis Hamilton bounced back from an early setback to claim pole position for the British GP ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

World champion Hamilton beat current championship leader Rosberg by 0.319 seconds, ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

But Hamilton needed to show character to post a crucial final lap time of 1:29.287, after he had his first pole lap time deleted for exceeding track limits.

"It was not the cleanest qualifying session," he said afterwards.

"We had really good pace in Q1, ran wide in Q3 then had good pace on the penultimate lap, but I touched the kerb and it pulled me further, the car bottomed and just bounced outside.

"I was sitting in the garage and knew I couldn't let the guys down and I'm grateful I got the final lap in. Thank you to my team to have the performance we have had - it has been outstanding."

Rosberg heads into the race 11 points clear in the championship, with both drivers on a "final warning" from Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff after their collision on the final lap of the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend.

Hamilton said there was no apology or discussion about Sunday's incident at the Red Bull Ring: "I didn't think there was anything that needed to be cleared up. I will try to not be in that position again, I can't speak for Nico."

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was 1.026 seconds behind the Mercedes in third, 0.305secs clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

It is the first time the teenager has qualified ahead of Ricciardo since his promotion from Toro Rosso at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel qualified fifth and sixth, but Vettel will start from 11th following a second sucessive five-place grid penalty after his gearbox failed in final practice.

Williams' Valtteri Bottas, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz, Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren's Fernando Alonso make up the rest of the top ten.

Alonso was eighth until his best lap time was expunged for exceeding track limits at the final corner. His McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, in potentially his final home GP, was eliminated in first qualifying.

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