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.
25. September 2018
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|Tony Bellew determined to prove doubters wrong against Oleksandr Usyk|
|Tuchel explains why he likes Neymar at number 10|
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|Rejuvenated Tiger out to improve poor Ryder Cup record|
|Saunders fined £100,000 for ´sickening´ online video|
|Hazard can reach his full potential with Sarri´s Chelsea - Zola|
|Ryder Cup heading back in Europe´s direction, says Niall Horan|
|Wow! Klopp hails Sarri´s Chelsea transformation|
|Giovinazzi to partner Raikkonen at Sauber in 2019|
|Bjorn backs ´phenomenal´ Rahm to continue trend of Spanish success|
|Durant in no rush to decide Warriors future|
|Rossi to face anti-doping hearing|
|Mignolet to return for Liverpool against Chelsea|
|Premier League ´interesting´ for Germany boss Low|
|Wilder wins Twitter vote to be Joshua´s next opponent|
|BREAKING NEWS: Isco an El Derbi doubt due to appendicitis|
|Juventus won´t rest Ronaldo ahead of Napoli clash|
|Slater cleared to play in NRL Grand Final|
|Top seed Begu sent packing in Tashkent|
|This isn´t my last hurrah in Ryder Cup, insists Poulter|
|Barba back in NRL with North Queensland Cowboys|
|Arsenal wait on Mkhitaryan and Sokratis|
|All Blacks wary of Pumas pack ahead of Buenos Aires Test|
|Ryder Cup has special place in Pep Guardiola´s heart, says Fleetwood|
|Mbappe ready to take over from Messi and Ronaldo, says Trezeguet|
|Molinari: Ryder Cup pressure far outweighs any major|
|Koepka heads PGA Tour´s Player of the Year nominations|
|Lampard: Mourinho still a great manager|
|United States and Europe reveal Ryder Cup practice groupings|
|Bulldogs´ fine for ´Mad Monday´ antics halved|
|Bennett to leave Broncos after 2019 NRL campaign|
|American League postseason picture becomes clear|
|Steelers edge Buccaneers for first win|
|Gatland wants Webb available for World Cup|
|Modric: Ronaldo, Messi out of this world but my season deserved recognition|
|Love says Cavs ´will surprise a lot of people´|
|George believes Thunder can compete for championship this season|
|Messi is the greatest ever – Eto´o|
|Messi to miss Argentina´s upcoming friendlies|
|Dolphins say Hayes tore ACL attempting to avoid roughing-the-passer penalty|
|Modric deserved FIFA Best award – Ramos|
|Thibodeau open to potential Butler trade|
|Modric wanted Ronaldo, Messi at awards ceremony|
|Brewers´ Yelich active after elbow hit|
|Anthony on coming off Rockets´ bench: Whatever I have to do to help this team win|
|Raiders coach Gruden says Mack trade was hard on players|
|Bale lauds ´unbelievable´ Modric after FIFA Best triumph|
|Ronaldo, Messi lacked respect with FIFA Best awards snub - Capello|
24. September 2018
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|FIFA Best Award a dream come true for Modric|
|Lakers a long way from Warriors, warns LeBron|
|Milner pokes fun at Salah´s Puskas Award win|
|Josh Rosen to replace Sam Bradford as Cardinals starting quarterback|
|Kaymer: Home-course advantage crucial to Europe hopes|
|Marta and Pedros win FIFA Best awards|
|I want to be in Toronto - Kawhi Leonard focused on Raptors, not future|
|Messi and Ronaldo lead FIFPro World XI as Salah and Neymar miss out|
|Knicks´ Kristaps Porzingis ´itchy´ to return but won´t commit to 2018-19 season|
|Modric beats Ronaldo and Salah to FIFA Best prize|
|49ers confirm ACL tear for QB Garoppolo|
|Salah beats Bale and Ronaldo to Puskas Award|
|Deschamps wins FIFA Best Men´s Coach award|
|Law to leave Windies for Middlesex role|
|Sunderland terminate Ndong´s contract|
|Spalletti warns rejuvenated Inter against complacency|
|Ryder Cup 2018: Figo in town as USA arrive in style|
|Browns name Baker Mayfield starting QB|