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Hamilton snatches last-minute pole at Silverstone 07 Jul 2007

Qualifying parc ferme (L to R): Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren, second; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren, pole position; Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari, third. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 7 July 2007 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.07.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 7 July 2007 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 7 July 2007 (L to R): David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing with Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday, 7 July 2007

Lewis Hamilton continued to serve it up for his thousands of fans at Silverstone on Saturday afternoon, by grabbing pole position from Kimi Raikkonen in the dying moments of qualifying.

First it had been McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso who stole the initiative with 1m 20.147s, the only lead runner to opt for Bridgestone’s harder tyre, as Felipe Massa’s effort for Ferrari came up short at 1m 20.265s.

Then Raikkonen came speeding out of Luffield, only to run wide at Woodcote; still his effort was enough to stop the clocks at 1m 20.099s to put the Ferrari on pole. While he was doing that, however, Hamilton was setting the fastest time in sector two, and as the McLaren sped across the line the 22 year-old Englishman pushed ahead with 1m 19.997s, giving him the prime starting position for his first-ever British Grand Prix. It was fairy tale stuff, and father Anthony’s delight was all too plain to see.

Behind them, BMW Sauber sprang back into their usual position after appearing to struggle earlier in the weekend, as Robert Kubica put his F1.07 into fifth place with 1m 20.401s, but Nick Heidfeld was only ninth on 1m 20.894s, with Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher (1m 20.516s) and the Renaults of Heikki Kovalainen (1m 20.721s) and Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 20.775s) separating him from his team mate.

Q2 had proved frustrating for Red Bull, weeding out all four of their cars. Mark Webber got closest to getting through to Q3, with his 11th fastest lap of 1m 20.235s, which David Coulthard just failed to match (1m 20.349s). Alex Wurz was right on the Scot’s heel with 1m 20.350s for Williams, and Rubens Barrichello proved Honda’s top qualifier in 14th on 1m 20.364s. Scott Speed was Toro Rosso’s lead runner on 1m 20.515s, with Tonio Liuzzi 16th on 1m 20.823s.

The biggest upset befell Nico Rosberg, after the speed he has shown all weekend. He couldn’t get below 1m 21.219s by the time Q1 ended thanks to a mystery misfire on his FW29, so will line up only 17th on the grid. An unhappy Jenson Button is 18th for Honda on 1m 21.335s, followed by fellow Briton Anthony Davidson, who spun his Super Aguri after recording 1m 21.448s. Adrian Sutil was 20th on 1m 22.091s, finally getting the better here of Spyker team mate Christijan Albers. The Dutchman was 22nd on 1m 22.589s, just behind Takuma Sato in the second Super Aguri on 1m 22.045s.

Thus the stage is set for one of the most exciting British Grands Prix of recent times, with any one of the top four in with a strong chance of victory, but all of the crowd’s expectation resting firmly on Hamilton’s young shoulders. Every time that he has started from pole this year, he has won.