Lewis Hamilton says second British GP pole feels just as good as first did in 2007
But Merc driver admits beating Vettel in race a different matter
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 30/06/13 6:48am
An elated Lewis Hamilton described the feeling of taking pole at Silverstone as being just as good as the first time he did it in his rookie F1 season - although has immediately moved to manage expectations over his victory chances.
The 2008 World Champion produced one of the best Q3 laps of the season, and most memorable of his career, to overcome the stern challenge of team-mate Nico Rosberg to claim his 28th pole position and second in his first eight races for his new team.
Hamilton's advantage over the sister Mercedes was in excess of four tenths of a second and speaking in the post-qualifying press conference, a clearly overjoyed Hamilton likened his emotions to 2007, the only previous time he has claimed pole at Silverstone.
"It's incredible - it feels just like it did in 2007," he said.
"Just to see the crowd here today is fantastic. Such a great turnout for everyone and that was a lap for them; I hope that tomorrow we can do something special for them.
"This is really down to the team. They've just been doing a phenomenal job and improving the car constantly. I haven't been feeling 100% comfortable in the car all weekend so I was really happy to finally get a lap."
However, Hamilton's delight was clearly tempered with the knowledge that while Mercedes are now certainly Formula 1's speed kings over a single Saturday lap, they have yet to show the required race pace and tyre wear to beat Red Bull on normal race circuits.
Indeed, while the 28-year-old expressed some hope that Mercedes may not experience a repeat of the Sunday slumps from the front-row seen earlier in the year, he admitted Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel will be a major challenge to overcome from the head of the second row.
"I think undoubtedly it's going to be tough for us to keep Sebastian behind," Hamilton conceded.
"But our long-run pace wasn't as bad as we've seen in the past so I'm hoping with the temperatures and with a bit of care we can nurture the tyres to get a good result.
"I'm going to be pushing and giving it my all tomorrow, as I'm sure Nico will as well, to try and finish up ahead."