Lewis Hamilton believes the fans were the difference for Mercedes as they finished first in qualifying at the British Grand Prix.
The hometown hero drove in front of 140,000 people at Silverstone on Friday and finished 0.075 seconds ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen.
Hamilton hasn’t won a race in two months and has 32 points to make up in race for the championship, but credited the support for getting him past Verstappen in practise.
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"We have been missing this for a whole year," Hamilton said, who was clearly emotional as fans chanted his name.
"I'm so grateful to see everyone here - we have missed you for a whole year.
To come to the Silverstone grand prix and have a full crowd like this, you see the energy and when I was coming into it with the great work we have done together in the team plus the energy of the fans would give us there.
"This is down to the fans I think."
"It has been such a difficult time for everyone and we finally have all the fans at the British Grand Prix and the desire to deliver for everyone is beyond belief," Hamilton continued.
"We watched the England game the other day, you see how much passion there is in England.

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“It was a difficult time for everyone and I was hoping I could do my part in bringing something positive. It is only the first step but, wow, what a fantastic way to end the day."

Fastest qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and second fastest qualifier Max Verstappen

Image credit: Getty Images

The ‘Sprint’ on Saturday will decide the grid positions for the main race. Verstappen gave his verdict on finishing behind Hamilton, revealing his car’s steering felt off.
"The car was handling quite well but just a lot of understeer so I couldn't really attack any corners, just waiting for the front to grip up,” he said.
A weird feeling to drive, I don't think it was set-up or front wing related, we are still quite close so it's all right.
"You do qualifying, you go flat out and it doesn't really mean anything in terms of pole feeling," Verstappen added.
"We have a strong race car but we need to fix the issues in qualifying. I am quite confident we can have a strong race."
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