F1 British Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Hamilton starts first sprint race ahead of Verstappen

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MORNING FORMULA ONE FANS

An emotional Lewis Hamilton lost his voice as he worked overtime on a simulator to help win pole at Silverstone – buoyed by the return of 86,000 fans.

Britain’s world champion beat F1 title leader Max Verstappen by 0.075 seconds for Sunday’s new 17-lap race.

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate was third, with Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc fourth.

Verstappen is 32 points clear in the championship after four wins in the last five races.

And Hamilton said of the simulator: “I was free and I said to the team that rather than sit around and waste time, I wanted to get to it and had a practice session.

“We are trying to squeeze everything from this car and it was holding together, so I am over the moon.

“It feels like such a long time since we have been able to get near [to Max] and to do it on our home turf is an incredible feeling.”

As for fans being allowed back in such huge numbers, he added: “We have been missing this for a whole year, I have lost my voice a little.

“To come to Silverstone and have a full crowd like this. You feel the energy. This (pole) is down to the fans.”





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