Hamilton motivated to win British GP for stuck-at-home fans
Lewis Hamilton will use Silverstone's empty grandstands as a motivating factor to deliver a British Grand Prix victory to the thousands of fans unable to make it to the circuit this year.
Hamilton is normally roared on by his legion of supporters at his home race who adorn the track with Union Jacks, and in return they have been treated to five victories in the past six years by their hero.
The six-time F1 champion's scintillating pole position lap, setting a new track record in the process, was greeted with an eerie silence which was not lost on Hamilton.
As to providing the British fans stuck at home with further success today, Hamilton said: "I kept it in mind.
"Normally when I approach this weekend there is a much more different feeling, I think it’s part excitement and also nerves when you come to this race knowing how many people do come.
"And that nervousness is just really through just wanting to excel and deliver for everybody because you go on a pretty incredible journey together, and so I've tried to keep that in mind this weekend.
"Whilst I didn’t have that same feeling in coming, knowing that no-one’s going to be here, I've just really tried to remember how… reminisce on last year, the past years and somehow get that energy and utilise it, which is not so easy.
"I can’t imagine how many people are watching and if it’s the same energy-wise back home where they are, if it’s the same as it is when they’re at the track. But I hope this gives some people some positivity."
Hamilton's pole lap was the 91st of his F1 career, his seventh at Silverstone, third in succession this season, and the eighth in a row for the team at the Northamptonshire track, breaking the record for the most consecutive poles at the same circuit.
Hamilton will have team-mate Valtteri Bottas alongside him on the front row, with both starting on the medium-compound tyre, and with seemingly little room for manoeuvre on strategy.
Last year, with Bottas on pole and Hamilton second, the Briton opted to run longer after the Finn had pitted first, making his plan work as he managed to achieve the undercut that gained him victory.
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has suggested Bottas could do something similar this year if the roles are reversed.
Initially referring to last year's race, Wolff said: "It wasn't that he improvised his own off-set strategy, it's just that he went longer.
"So we are going to do what we have always done, it's the car leading will have priority on the stop. If the second-placed car wants to go longer and can extract performance from his tyres, that's perfectly fine with our racing intent."
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