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.
|Fired-up Japan taught England a great lesson - Jones|
|Sarries leave it late to down Sale, Bath and Saints win|
|O´Shea fumes at disallowed Italy try|
|Southgate welcomes England selection quandary|
|Reaching Rooney´s England goals record ´definitely possible´ – Kane|
|Debut try for Cokanasiga as England rally to avoid Japan upset|
|Wembley will galvanise ´tired´ Croatia, insists Dalic|
|Zverev apologises for tie-break controversy amid O2 Arena heckles|
|Marquez happy with fifth after damaging shoulder in Valencia|
|Wales crush Tonga in Cardiff|
|Germany should keep faith in old guard - Bierhoff|
|Injured Lukaku to miss Belgium´s Nations League decider|
|Zverev knocks out Federer to reach maiden ATP Finals showpiece|
|Koroibete double maintains Australia´s 100 per cent record against Italy|
|Juventus´ Khedira sprains ankle in training|
|Van Dijk: Ramos is not my type of defender|
|Vinales grabs Valencia pole as Marquez crashes|
|I don´t deserve Ballon d´Or, Mbappe does – Hazard|
|Reed and Willett share lead in Dubai|
|Romagnoli joins long AC Milan injury list|
|Williamson steadies Black Caps after Boult heroics|
|Griezmann targets swift French response against Uruguay|
|Havertz´s future lies with Bayer Leverkusen – sporting director Boldt|
|Socceroos boss Arnold excited for future|
|South Africa triumph on Gold Coast in truncated T20 clash|
|Germany without Draxler for Netherlands game|
|Barcelona confirm Rakitic hamstring injury|
|Rain halts England´s post-tea flourish|
|Australia 1 South Korea 1: Luongo seals late draw for Socceroos|
|Irving thrives on ´peace´ of being in the zone|
|Lloris admits France could have lost by more|
|Dybala impressed by Argentina´s improved spirit|
|Arsenal chief confirms Super League talks|
|Hooker knocks out Saucedo to retain WBO strap|
|NBA wrap: Kyrie Irving sizzles as Celtics beat Raptors in overtime|
|Jimmy Butler aims dig at Timberwolves following 76ers home debut|
|Koeman surprised by dominant Netherlands|
|Southgate rallies England ahead of Nations League decider|
|Chile 2 Costa Rica 3: Waston brace sinks La Roja|
|Tite inspired by Guardiola´s City|
|Argentina 2 Mexico 0: Funes Mori´s header helps to sink El Tri|
|Lovren ready for ´fiery´ England clash|
|Brazil captain Neymar pleased with stern Uruguay test|
|Ravens´ Flacco doubtful, Jackson could start|
|Richarlison: I want to be at the Copa America|
|Tabarez buoyed by inexperienced Uruguay|
|Howell fires 64 again to extend RSM Classic lead|
|I´m proud of them - Giggs still upbeat despite Denmark defeat|
|Mancini ´very sorry´ for Ronaldo absence|
|Neymar clinches anything-but-friendly win for Brazil over Uruguay|
|Cipriani-inspired Gloucester thrash Tigers|
|Djokovic makes it three wins from three at ATP Finals|
|Germany relegated from Nations League top tier to cap miserable 2018|
|Fulham will back Ranieri in January transfer window if required|
|Brazil 1 Uruguay 0: Neymar penalty settles tight contest|
|Netherlands 2 France 0: Wijnaldum & Depay decisive as Germany are relegated|
|Wales 1 Denmark 2: Jorgensen and Braithwaite seal Nations League promotion|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain targeting early return|
|New Zealand-born Aki will ´relish´ facing All Blacks – Marmion|
|Portugal cannot focus on absent Ronaldo - Santos|
|Ramsey reiterates he wants to stay with Jaguars despite cryptic tweet|
|We tried to hit a home run and it didn´t work out - D´Antoni explains Carmelo exit|
|West Ham´s Zabaleta backs Premier League´s VAR introduction|
|Southgate eyes winning end to England´s ´brilliant year´|
|Patient Zverev seizes opportunity to make amends at ATP Finals|
|Rodgers: Packers still believe they can make playoffs|
|Mahomes hoping to ketchup to Heinz´s touchdown target|
|Ranieri tells Fulham fans not to expect repeat of Leicester ´fairytale´|
|Brown to leave role as RFU chief executive|
|Croatia star Rakitic ruled out of England clash|