Hamilton surprised by pole margin in British GP qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton admits he was taken aback by the margin by which he claimed his 67th career pole at the British Grand Prix, moving to within one of the all-time record held by Michael Schumacher.

The local favourite smashed the lap record around the current Silverstone layout with a 1:26.600s in qualifying, over half a second clear of the two Ferraris. It was the Mercedes driver's sixth pole of the season and fifth at his home race, tieing the record with Jim Clark.

Hamilton has been the man to beat all weekend, looking very comfortable despite only leading one of the three practice sessions, however, speaking afterwards even Hamilton did not expect this gap to his competitors.

"I feel amazing especially with a great crowd like this," he said summing up his emotions on the grid. "I always try to save the best for last and knowing how much support I have here I had to get that lap.

"The final lap felt fantastic. Of course, I didn't expect to get a gap like that, but that's always the target. It definitely felt great and I'm very proud." 

While some struggled with the drying conditions throughout, experience proved key to the man from Stevenage around a venue where three of his four wins have seen rain at some stage.

"I generally like it to be dry but these typical English conditions, this is where I grew up racing,” he said.

"So I felt very comfortable in it and the team did a fantastic job. When it dried up, that high-speed section was incredible."

Though a tough fight with the Ferraris likely awaits in the race, few would bet against another Silverstone success on Sunday for Hamilton.