British Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton promises to produce something special for F1 fans at home

Hamilton will start from fifth on the grid after a rainy qualifying session in which Carlos Sainz took the first-ever pole position of his career.

Struggling Mercedes has brought some significant upgrades to Silverstone and team boss Toto Wolff said on Thursday he hopes to give Hamilton a car good enough to win for the first time this year.

“We were fighting for the front row and all the way into that penultimate lap, I was (then) asked to go back and go for the last lap, but it was raining, so it was just a bit unlucky,” Hamilton said of the qualification.

“They (Mercedes) wanted to go for a racer power mode on the last lap and charge the battery… and while we did it it rained some more and the last lap was messed up.”

“I was very, very hopeful because we have an incredible crowd and I was in the fight, I felt great,” he added.

Hamilton said the car was still bouncing, especially in the corners, but the race pace was good.

Swimming pool via REUTERS

“I hope we are a little bit closer to race pace compared to the last race and if so, if only I can hold them then maybe I can make progress,” he said of rivals Red Bull and Ferrari. “I will definitely be aggressive, don’t worry.”

The 37-year-old finished third in Montreal two weeks ago, just his second podium of the campaign, and he acknowledged that fifth wasn’t a bad place to start.

“In the last race I would have been super happy about that, but because it’s the British Grand Prix, you hope for something more,” he said.