Hamilton 'over the moon' after first P1 in qualifying since Spain

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Lewis Hamilton was "over the moon" after topping a qualifying session for the first time since Spain at the British Grand Prix.

On a beautiful evening at Silverstone, the seven-time world champion sent the tens of thousands of fans in attendance into raptures as he pipped Max Verstappen by just 0.075s to secure P1 on the grid for Saturday's first-ever sprint race.

While his lap won't go down as his 101st pole position, unless he converts his starting position into victory after the 17-lap dash, Hamilton savoured every minute in Parc Ferme.

"We have missed you for a whole year," he said to those cheering in the grandstands.

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"So to come to Silverstone and have a full crowd like this, you see the energy and coming into it, I was hopeful that the great work we have done together in the team and the energy of the fans would get us there. This is down to the fans."

Mercedes have been hopeful that an upgrade for this weekend would help them stop Red Bull's recent domination, but it appeared unlikely when Verstappen was almost eight-tenths ahead earlier in the day.

"I don't know what they were doing in there, they were very quick in that practice session," said Hamilton.

"We were staying focused on our job and trying to layer up... I was in the sim this morning and use it as a practice session.

"It was the first time we had the morning free and I was just trying to give absolutely everything and leave no stone unturned so that first lap was great.

"The second lap was looking even better but I just lost the back-end in the last corner so my heart was in my mouth as I came across the line.

"I couldn't have done it without these guys here so a big big thank you."

Hamilton's revelation that he had spent the morning in Brackley stunned interviewer David Coulthard, but Lewis made it clear he is in all-in when it comes to catching Red Bull.

"I was in the sim at the factory on Tuesday and we had this morning free so I was like 'I am not going to sit around and waste time. Let's get to it'," he explained.

"We did a practice session in there this morning, also just trying to develop it and give as much information to the guys.

"We are squeezing every ounce of performance from this thing but it was holding together today so I am over the moon."