Hamilton storms to pole at Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton won his seventh British GP pole position at Silverstone Saturday just .313 of a second ahead of his Mercedes F1 teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton overcame a rare mistake in Q2 to get a leg up on Bottas who had been quicker in the opening two sessions of qualifying.
The six-time world champion posted two laps which would have been good enough for pole, however he claimed his third consecutive pole – and the 91st of his career - with a final flying lap 1:24.303 to end Q3 ahead of Bottas and set a new track record.
In a nod to the domination of the Mercedes duo, third place started Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was a full second off the pace.
Charles Leclerc took fourth for Ferrari, while Briton’s Lando Norris grabbed a top five starting position for his home race in his McLaren.
Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was sixth-fastest as he split the McLaren duo, with Carlos Sainz just a tenth quicker of the Renault pair led by Daniel Ricciardo.
Sebastian Vettel’s struggles continued as he was unable to match the pace of his Ferrari teammate and could only post the 10th-best time after his final flying lap was thrown out after his last lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits. He was two seconds off Hamilton’s pole time.
Despite setting an identical time to Stroll, Pierre Gasly only missed out on a spot in Q3 because the Racing Point driver was the first to complete his lap.
Red Bull’s Alex Albon was the surprise elimination in Q2 after he could only manage the 12th-fastest time, after an electrical issue kept him in the garage much of the final free practice session. Albon was will able to finish ahead of returning Nico Hulkenberg, who was unable to make it two Racing Point cars inside the top 10. Daniil Kvyat posted the 14th-quickest time but is carrying a grid penalty for a gearbox change and will drop five positions for Sunday’s race.
George Russell registered his third consecutive Q2 appearance in P15, but the Williams driver is at risk of picking up a penalty for failing to slow sufficiently under yellow flags in the first session of qualifying.
Also eliminated in Q2 were Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat.
Hamilton spun in Q2 when he got on the throttle too early through Luffield and spun off into the gravel, which he brought back on track forcing a red flag for s short time. There was no damage to his car, and he was able to later set a flying lap that put him in second behind Bottas.
Kevin Magnussen Kimi Raikkonen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Romain Grosjean and Nicholas Latifi were out in Q1 and will start at the back of the grid.