Lewis Hamilton had to go through the toughest lap of his career to claim pole position for the British Grand Prix.
Defending Formula One champion Hamilton had already put a tough week at the Austrian Grand Prix behind him in practice, only to kick on again in qualifying to set up the possibility of a fifth straight win at Silverstone.
Ferrari - including title rival Sebastian Vettel - were flying on Saturday, but Hamilton's sublime time of one minute, 25.892 seconds stole top spot.
After celebrating wildly in front of his home crowd, the Brit revealed just why he thought it was such a big result.
"It was the toughest lap I've had to do," he told Sky F1.
"The pressure was beyond anything I've experienced before and I think the desire to pull it out - knowing that deep within me I've got it, to absolutely extract it and pull it out of the car - was harder than any other qualifying session I've experienced.
"It feels kind of night-and-day different [to previous British poles]
"These [Ferrari] guys really pulled something special out of the bag in Q3. I don't know what they did yesterday, but they've come so strong today."
With the British fans also revelling in England's World Cup quarter-final defeat of Sweden, Hamilton will hope to secure another crucial triumph on Sunday.
NECK-AND-NECK VETTEL FEELING THE STRAIN
Hamilton would have targeted Silverstone after winning there in each of the past four seasons and, heading into race day, everything is going to plan.
The pendulum of the title race has swung back and forth, with Vettel taking a one-point lead from Hamilton after the Mercedes man retired in Austria.
Vettel starts from second, but it feels like he has a lot to do in front of a partisan crowd backing Hamilton, who followed up victory at the venue in 2017 by winning five of the remaining 10 races.
The German must also contend with a neck problem that kept him out of the latter part of the third practice session and saw him participate in qualifying with the problem heavily strapped.
"I had a bit of an issue in practice but I'm okay now," insisted Vettel.
Any issue on Sunday could sway a potentially pivotal race further in Hamilton's favour.
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
7. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
8. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
9. Charles Leclerc (Sauber)
10. Esteban Ocon (Force India)
1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 146
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 145
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 101
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 96
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 93
1. Ferrari 247
2. Mercedes 237
3. Red Bull 189
4. Renault 62
5. Haas 49
2017: Lewis Hamilton
2016: Lewis Hamilton
2015: Lewis Hamilton
An uncharacteristically glorious British weekend continues with high temperatures on Sunday, although there could be some cloud cover during the race.
|Rooney backing Kane to break England record|
|Betts named American League MVP|
|Republic of Ireland must improve, says under-pressure O´Neill|
|Injured Sergio Ramos to leave Spain squad|
|Yelich named National League MVP|
|Low praises ´beautiful goals´ from Sane and Gnabry|
|Belgium boss Martinez pleased with patient Batshuayi|
|Wilson and Sancho pay tribute to England ´legend´ Rooney|
|Rooney gave England squad a lesson in humility - Southgate|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: LeBron passes Chamberlain, Williamson looking like he is next|
|We still have a chance - Luis Enrique not giving up hope after Spain defeat|
|Rockets ´parting ways´ with Anthony|
|Rooney became ´embarrassed´ at Manchester United|
|Federer: ´Easier´ to play when I´m up against it|
|Rooney convinced England are in safe hands with Southgate|
|Black Caps skipper Williamson confident over first Test availability|
|Federer cruises into last four of ATP Finals for 15th time|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Northern Ireland 0: Randolph saves light up bore draw|
|England 3 United States 0: Experimental side impresses on Rooney farewell|
|Croatia 3 Spain 2: Jedvaj keeps World Cup finalists in contention|
|Belgium 2 Iceland 0: Batshuayi rekindles Hazard flame with match-winning brace|
|Germany 3 Russia 0: Sane on target as Low´s men stroll|
|´Fancy taking a look at Brexit?´ - Southampton credit Austin with VAR breakthrough|
|Green: Altercation with Durant will make Warriors stronger|
|Juventus star Dybala dismisses Manchester United links|
|Strinic given all clear to return to AC Milan training|
|Papier wait over as scrum-half starts for Springboks|
|MLB commissioner Manfred gets five-year extension|
|South Africa international Du Preez joins brother at Sale|
|Pogba and Sterling support my football dream, says Bolt|
|Asensio wants to ´feel more important´ at Real Madrid|
|Former Roosters and Cowboys centre Linnett joins Hull KR|
|New team tournament ATP Cup wins Djokovic´s approval|
|Roma and Pallotta donate €150,000 to injured Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|England captain Root reprimanded on frustrating day in Pallekele|
|Jokanovic proud of establishing Fulham´s ´footballing identity´|
|Huget to make first France appearance in a year|
|Mourinho and squad ´united´ despite ´mixed´ start, says Woodward|
|Petaia and Gordon to make Wallabies debuts in Padova|
|Barcelona star Arthur determined not to let Xavi praise go to his head|
|Youthful Netherlands have forged strong bond - Wijnaldum|
|Premier League confirms £5m package for departing chief Scudamore|
|Thiem blasts past Nishikori to keep semi-final hopes alive|
|He´s always got time for me – Gerrard loved learning from Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Kearney and Ringrose return for All Blacks clash|
|Molinari on course for Race to Dubai title, Smith and Otaegui lead|
|Premier League to implement VAR from 2019-20 season|
|FSF urges Premier League clubs to reject Scudamore ´golden handshake´ request|
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|
|Rooney ´passionate´ about future coaching career|
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|Gabi, Juanfran hopeful over Oblak´s Atletico future|
|England rookie Wilson not comparing himself to Kane|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat|