Hamilton: ‘Surreal’ to take fifth Silverstone pole, match Clark’s record

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Lewis Hamilton found it “surreal” to have taken his fifth pole position for the British Grand Prix in qualifying at Silverstone on Saturday, matching Jim Clark’s 50-year-old record.

Hamilton produced a stunning final lap in Q3 to finish half a second clear of the field and score his 67th career pole, leaving him just one shy of all-time record holder Michael Schumacher.

Hamilton also tied Clark’s record standing from 1967 for the most British Grand Prix poles, marking an achievement that the three-time world champion found hard to comprehend.

“I can’t really explain in words just how good that pole feels. A fifth Silverstone pole, equal with Jim Clark, it just feels crazy to me – it’s surreal to be up there with these legends,” Hamilton said.

“I’m so happy with how this weekend has gone. We started on the right foot straight from FP1 and we’ve built up from there. I loved the conditions in Q1 – it’s tough but those changeable conditions are so much fun. Then it was all about pushing to the limit as the track dried out, extracting everything out of the car.

“Everything has just been so perfect and I knew it was a spectacular lap – I knew that had to be it. I feel like I’m driving the best I’ve ever driven, so I hope the results start to show that. It’s been super tight recently, so to end up with a gap of seven-tenths to the Ferraris is a nice surprise.

“The home support has been incredible and I’m so proud to take pole here again. It blows me away to see all of the flags. There’s nowhere else in the world where a driver gets this kind of love and support.”

Reviewing Danica Patrick’s highs and lows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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So much of Danica Patrick’s fame can be traced to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s where she became a household name 13 years ago when she became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and emerged as a transcendent athlete.

It’s where everything started. This Sunday, it’s where everything will end, too.

In her last warmup before starting the final race of her career, Patrick had a bumpy final practice Friday on Carb Day. She was eighth fastest, but her Dallara-Chevrolet was in the garage most of the session because of an electrical problem in the engine. After returning during the final 10 minutes of the session, Patrick’s No. 13 seemed to be OK.

“At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done,” she said. “I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”
Though she has had her share of success – along with a fourth in her debut, there was a third in 2009 and six top 10s in seven starts — Patrick has learned well how to handle frustration at the 2.5-mile track, too.

Fuel mileage might have kept her from winning her debut, a pit collision ruined 2008, and an unstable setup made 2010 a wild ride.

For a review of her up-and-down history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and her legacy in racing, watch the video essay above that ran during Friday’s NASCAR America Motorsports Special on NBCSN.