Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton gave the British Grand Prix crowd what they wanted by powering to pole position in a one-two with Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg.

The pole was Hamilton's eighth in nine races and the 46th of his career for the championship leader, who took a home win at Silverstone last year and has a 10 point advantage over the German.

It's special when you get the pole position here on your home turf

Lewis Hamilton, World champion

Brazilian Felipe Massa qualified a strong third for Williams, ahead of Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas, with the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel lining up together on the third row.

Hamilton's first flying lap in the final phase of qualifying proved good enough for pole, with Rosberg complaining afterwards that there was a problem with the left front wheel of his car.

"It's a special day," said the Briton, now third on the all-time list of pole-setters behind Michael Schumacher and the late Ayrton Senna.

Champions Mercedes have now taken 20 poles in a row, four short of Williams' all-time record set in 1992-93.

"It's special when you get the pole position here on your home turf and you see all those fans out there, so many people have come today," added Hamilton. , who has now been on pole three times in Britain.

"They really do motivate me," he said of a crowd that exceeded 100,000 on Saturday and is expected to reach a record 140,000 on Sunday.

Honda-powered McLaren's miserable season continued with Spain's Fernando Alonso qualifying 17th and Jenson Button 18th in his home grand prix.

Starting grid (top-10):

1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes
3. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes
4. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari
6. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari
7. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull - Renault
8. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Renault
9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes
10. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault

Source: Reuters