Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to British Grand Prix pole

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Lewis Hamilton took a superlative pole position ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg at the British Grand Prix.

The Mercedes drivers were in a league of their own as Hamilton beat Rosberg by 0.319 seconds, ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

There were tense moments for Hamilton after he had his first pole lap time deleted for exceeding track limits.

But he nailed it on his final lap as Rosberg failed to get close at Silverstone.

lewis hamilton and stirling moss
"You'd never have done it in this thing, son." Hamilton now has four British GP poles - equalling Sir Stirling Moss

Silver arrows' epic battle at Silverstone

The result sets up a mouth-watering battle between the two Mercedes in the race, which starts at 13:00 BST on Sunday and is live on the BBC Sport website and Radio 5 live.

They have been given a "final warning" by their Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff after their crash together on the final lap of the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend and risk being dropped from a subsequent race or heavy fines if they do it again.

Rosberg heads into the race 11 points clear in the championship.

Hamilton thanked the crowd for their support after they had cheered him around the track and said: "The penultimate lap was a very good lap and was unfortunately taken as I touched the kerb and it just pulled me further [wide].

"So a lot of pressure for that last lap. I couldn't let the guys down."

hamilton
Hamilton will be hoping to win his fourth British Grand Prix

Red Bull could fight for victory

Verstappen, who out-qualified Ricciardo for the first time since being promoted to Red Bull at the Spanish Grand Prix back in May, was 1.026 seconds behind the Mercedes and 0.305secs clear of Ricciardo.

But the Red Bull has shown strong race pace and may be in the mix in the race.

Ferrari, though, are having a torrid weekend.

Kimi Raikkonen, who was re-signed for 2017 on Thursday evening, and Sebastian Vettel qualified fifth and sixth, but Vettel will start 11th because his gearbox failed in final practice - which resulted in his second five-place grid penalty for an illegal gearbox change in as many races.

rupert grint
Harry Potter star Rupert Grint watched from the Red Bull garage

What happened to Button?

The top 10 was completed by Williams's Valtteri Bottas, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz, Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren's Fernando Alonso, who was eighth before his best lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits at the final corner.

His team-mate Jenson Button, who has not been on Alonso's pace all weekend, was eliminated in first qualifying.

The 2009 world champion, who had a new floor that Alonso tested on Friday fitted for Saturday morning, was 0.5 seconds slower than the Spaniard after his rear wing came loose at Turn Eight yet McLaren decided not to send him out for a second run.

He was demoted by Renault's Kevin Magnussen and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat. Button said he did not go out again as they thought Magnussen would have his fastest time deleted for exceeding track limits but the stewards decided to take no action on the Dane and Button was out.

Magnussen's English team-mate Jolyon Palmer qualified 18th for his first home grand prix.

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson was unable to take part in qualifying after a heavy crash in final practice. The Swede was taken to hospital for precautionary checks and declared uninjured but will have further checks in the morning before it is decided whether he will be allowed to race.

British Grand Prix qualifying results

British Grand Prix coverage details

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton
The Mercedes drivers are under intense scrutiny after last weekend's crash in Austria...
Flag
...And it inspired Hamilton fans get creative at Silverstone
Hamilton flags
More than 140,000 spectators are expected for Sunday's race
Marcus Ericsson
Sauber's Marcus Ericsson spent qualifying in hospital after this morning's final practice crash
Jenson Button
Button was knocked out in the first session, but not before sprinting back up the pit lane to get back in his car after confusion about whether he had been eliminated
Jenson Button
Button is a celebrated F1 driver and champion, but has never finished on the podium at Silverstone

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