British Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position for his home race at Silverstone, following an intense qualifying battle with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position at Silverstone, just 0.044 seconds clear of title rival Sebastian Vettel. The Ferrari driver had taken provisional pole position with his first lap in Q3 to go 0.057 seconds clear of Hamilton’s first attempt. However, the second runs saw Hamilton dig deep and produce a 1:25.892 to pip Vettel’s final attempt by 0.044 seconds to the jubilation of Hamilton’s home crowd.
Underlining Ferrari’s challenge to Mercedes, Kimi Raikkonen also looked a very sharp and competitive challenger and was the quickest through the first and third sector on his final lap. However, his second sector was not as quick as Hamilton’s and Raikkonen had to settle for P3. The top three were separated by just 0.098 seconds.
Valtteri Bottas was P4 in the other Mercedes after a scruffy third sector on his final run, but was still well clear of the two Red Bulls. Hampered by a slight lack of horsepower at the ferociously fast Silverstone, Max Verstappen had to settle for P5 and 0.7 off pole position after his win in Austria a week ago. This was half a second clear of Daniel Ricciardo’s best time in Q3, after the Australian encountered DRS problems on his first run that prevented him using the system, costing him time. He wasn’t able to find any positions on his final run.
The Haas drivers, using Ferrari power, were a potent force in qualifying, with Kevin Magnussen finishing P7 ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean and split by 0.2 seconds. Charles Leclerc, making it into Q3 for the second time in the last three races, finished P9 for Sauber and 0.4 clear of Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
Outside the top ten, Nico Hulkenberg was P11 for Renault. Sergio Perez finished P12 in the second Force India, 0.2 clear of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren. Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly finished P14, having been a doubt for the session. This was because of a high speed suspension failure for the other car, Brendon Hartley, who crashed in FP3 as a result of the collapse. Changing the suspension for the session, Gasly was able to take part, although Hartley had to sit out the session. Marcus Ericsson was P15 for Sauber.
Carlos Sainz was the highest profile knockout in Q1, having been unable to put together a quick lap in the first part of qualifying. He attributed encountering Kevin Magnussen on track on his final lap as the reason he wasn’t able to put in a more representative time but said that he had been struggling for pace anyway. Stoffel Vandoorne was P17 for McLaren, saying that he felt his car had a fundamental issue since the beginning of FP3 on Saturday morning. Sergey Sirotkin was P18 for Williams and is under investigation for ignoring the red flag at the start of Q1. The red flag was shown due to teammate Lance Stroll going off at Brooklands when he lost control under braking. The car wasn’t damaged but he was unable to take any further part and had to settle for P19, ahead of Hartley.