Lewis Hamilton may not have led a single session in qualifying for the British Grand Prix, but he delivered when it mattered, the British moved to pole position and rejected a tough challenge from teammate Mercedes and the strongest rival of the Valtteri Bottas championship.
The reigning world champion Hamilton was not very happy with the car after Friday’s practice and was still unusually making changes to his Silver Arrow before qualifying. He later admitted that those changes subsequently made the car worse, and you might believe it when he made a rare mistake in Q2, turning over Luffield and dragging the gravel onto the track to cause a red flag.
But as he has often done in his illustrious career, Hamilton has regrouped, zoned everything else and put together the fastest lap of the weekend to set a record and put pole position out of reach. In doing so, he also became the first driver to take seven stakes at his home event.
Bottas finished second, three tenths off the pace, with Max Verstappen in third place for Red Bull, about a second behind Hamilton̵
Red Bull Racing
Ferrari opted to eliminate the aerodynamic load of their car here in an attempt to compensate for their power deficit, and this helped their qualifying form, with Charles Leclerc making a strong quarter, only a fraction behind Verstappen. But teammate Sebastian Vettel’s miserable weekend continued, as he only managed to reach tenth place, although at least he will start the race with the toughest average tire.
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Lando Norris made two British drivers in the top five, continuing his strong start to the season by beating Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, with McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz two tenths ahead in seventh place. And both Renaults made it to Q3, with Daniel Ricciardo eliminating Esteban Ocon.
But the day belonged to Hamilton, the Briton ensured his 100th front row start for Mercedes in 144 races for the team. And the auction perfectly prepares him for another win on home soil, given that the last six Grands Prix have been won by P1.
Q1 – Mercedes duel in the front while Russell strikes again
Bottas indicated his stalemate as a favorite for pole position, after exceeding the times in FP3, with the fastest time after the fastest races, eliminating teammate Hamilton. Next time he improved again and, although Hamilton, he was still a tenth shy of the Finn. Both were comfortably in Q2, however, with Verstappen their closest threat in third.
Further back, there was more evidence that the midfield seems to have broken in two, with Haas and Alfa Romeo leaving the midfield and in their group behind, as both of their drivers have failed to make the cut in this qualifying segment .
It was a two-stroke story for Williams, however, with Nicholas Latifi turning and ending slower than anyone else, while his teammate George Russell delivered his third consecutive Q2 appearance, suggesting that Williams not only captured the group, but it is – at least in the qualifying finishes – stronger than Haas and Alfa Romeo.
The British is, however, under investigation for not potentially slowing down enough for the yellow flags caused by Latifi’s spin, although he was quick to get on the radio and insisted that telemetry data would show that he was slowing down.
Eliminated: Magnussen, Giovinazzi, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Latifi
Q2 – Hamilton manages to overcome despite a rare mistake
Hamilton’s mistake is a rarity, but one crept in at the beginning of the second quarter, when the Briton lost his car in Luffield, going around in circles and dragging so much gravel on the track, the race director opted to deploy the red flag to clean it up.
When the session came back into force, Hamilton got an orderly lap on the vehicles to pass comfortably second, three tenths of a drift of Bottas on the same tire with both laps good enough to progress.
As the second heats started, Vettel and Stroll boldly launched themselves on the means to mix them with the strategy, with their immediate rivals opting for the soft. And it paid off, right, with the pair progressing ninth and tenth respectively.
The walk was particularly lucky when he set exactly the same time as Pierre Gasly, but he came tenth by virtue of the first half set. There was not much luck for his temporary teammate Nico Hulkenberg, mind, the German failed to make the cut – finishing 13th fastest.
Alex Albon was only four tenths off his teammate Verstappen in third place, but that meant he hadn’t even made it to the top 10, taking an early swim with Danill Kvyat, who has a five position penalty on the grid for a change of exchange, and Russell.
Sainz made an impressive lap to death to snatch the fourth, almost equaling the time set by Verstappen, although the latter only did one race to save a set of tires, while Leclerc has shown that Ferrari seems to have gained in terms of qualifying set-up, having stripped the car of the downforce, with the fifth.
Eliminated: Gasly, Albon, Hulkenberg, Kvyat, Russell
Q3 – Hamilton occupies the third consecutive pole in 2020
Bottas had all the momentum reaching the last qualifying segment, but after being in Hamilton’s time in the first heats of Q3, he lost that advantage and more in the last corner to move to second place.
This increased the pressure on the Finn and failed to bring the fight to Hamilton a second time, while the Briton, claiming to hit the top of the timesheet at the first time of asking, simply stretched his legs to extend his lead. .
Red Bull has secured the first of the top three places at Silverstone since 2016 with Verstappen, but there has been a swing against them of 0.9 against Mercedes since the times of the third quarter of last year. Leclerc’s fourth place, six ahead of Vettel, means he is now 2-2 in the head-to-head of his teammate.
Norris’ fifth place means that he has now started in the top five two times in four races, while Stroll has gone beyond Q1 at Silverstone for the first time in his career when he came sixth. Having not achieved Q3 in Hungary, Renault brought both cars into the top 10 of the shootings in Britain, behind Sainz while Vettel completed the top 10.
Qualifying for Great Britain: Hamilton takes incredible pole
The key quote
Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton: “Qualifying is based on building trust and damn it, I had that lap and I was already down, I was struggling through the first section every lap, and I don’t know how, but with some deep breaths, I managed to I make myself up. Q3 started the right way. The first lap was still not perfect, but still a really clean lap and the second even better. It never ages, that’s for sure. “
The British Grand Prix kicks off at 1410 local time, which is 1110 UTC. The conditions should be dry, but cooler again. Hamilton has won this race five times in the six years. Will he make seven wins at the venue, which will see him beat another record – is Alain Prost most of the victories in a home race, which Hamilton currently shares with his six?