Hamilton takes pole for British GP
England's Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for Sunday's British Grand Prix, thrilling the vociferous home crowd with a dazzling display of qualifying speed.
The McLaren rookie took a significant step towards a dream win at Silverstone, where 'Lewis-Mania' is in full swing.
Hamilton recorded the fastest lap of 1:19.997 with his final attempt, narrowly outpacing Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso who will start from second and third respectively.
Hamilton currently has a 14 point cushion at the top of the championship and now looks well-placed to build on that lead in front of his adoring fans.
He has won both the races he has started from pole position this season and will no doubt be confident of making it a hat-trick on Sunday. Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa qualified fourth.
Pole Robert Kubica was fifth in a BMW Sauber and will share the grid's third row with Germany's Ralf Schumacher in a Toyota.
Finnish rookie Heikki Kovalainen will start seventh for Renault ahead of his Italian teammate Giancarlo Fisichella of Renault with BMW's Nick Heidfeld ninth and Jarno Trulli tenth in a Toyota.
Alonso was quickest in the first mini-session of qualifying which was notable mainly for Britain's Anthony Davidson dramatically spinning off the track into the gravel.
At the end of the 15-minute period the slowest six cars were eliminated from progress and that meant Dutchman Christijan Albers, in a Spyker, and Japan's Super Aguri driver Takuma Sato will start from the 11th, and final, row of the grid on Sunday.
Ahead of them, but also looking to work from the rear of the field, will be Germany's Adrian Sutil in the other Spyker and Davidson.
Another Brit, Jenson Button of Honda, had to settle for a place on the grid's ninth row where he will, surprisingly, be joined by Germany's Williams driver Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg, 22, had impressed in practice but will start from 17th position, his worst grid position of the season.
The second mini session again saw Alonso fastest with Raikkonen and Hamilton close behind.
This time Italy's Vitantonio Liuzzi in a Torro Rosso and his American teammate Scott Speed were knocked out to start on the eighth row of the grid.
Directly ahead of them will be Honda's Brazilian Rubens Barrichello and Austrian Alex Wurz of Williams who will be 13th on the grid.
Red Bull Racing drivers David Coulthard of Scotland and Mark Webber of Australia were the last to be eliminated and will take their places on the sixth row on Sunday, starting 12th and 11th respectively.