After Valtteri Bottas set the pace in first and second practice and Lewis Hamilton set the pace in FP3, it was shaping up to be a Mercedes pole position at the British Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton claims 67th pole position at the British Grand Prix
In the first part of qualifying, the rain poured down and only got heavier as drivers struggled for grip out on track. Daniel Ricciardo set the early pace in the session, however, when he stopped out on track with an engine issue, the red flag waved and the session was stopped. It then became a game of improvement as the times got faster lap by lap and it was Fernando Alonso who topped the session for McLaren by 1.3 seconds on the supersoft tyres. Five drivers were eliminated from Q1 and Lance Stroll was one driver who was just on the cusp of progressing to Q2, 16th fastest for Williams. Kevin Magnussen was next up in 17th place followed by the Sauber pair of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson. Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the session in 20th place as he was unable to rejoin the session after breaking down earlier in the session.
For the second part of qualifying, the track dried out and drivers were able to run on the dry tyres. In the session, Lewis Hamilton set the pace from Valtteri Bottas and the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Another five drivers were eliminated from Q2, narrowing the field to only ten drivers for Q3. Jolyon Palmer narrowly missed out on a second Q3 appearance this year, and was 11th fastest for Renault, only a couple of hundredths of a second away from the top ten shootout. Daniil Kvyat also joined Palmer in the drop zone in 12th fastest followed by McLaren’s Fernando Alonso in 13th. Carlos Sainz Jr was also knocked out for Toro Rosso and was only 14th fastest . Felipe Massa rounded out the session in 15th place, marking the end of a difficult qualifying session for Williams at its home race.
In the third and final part of qualifying, the top ten fastest drivers were given 12 minutes to post the fastest time possible. After the first set of runs, Hamilton emerged as the early pacesetter followed by Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas. With three minutes to go, the drivers then took to the track for their final runs and Esteban Ocon led them out of the pit lane. In the final runs of the session, no one was able to challenge Hamilton and the British driver set the fastest lap of the weekend, taking pole by over half a second from Kimi Raikkonen. Sebastian Vettel ended the session in third fastest while Valtteri Bottas only managed fourth after locking up on his final flying lap. Through the application of Bottas’ five-place grid penalty, the Finn will start from ninth place. Max Verstappen was next up in fifth place followed by Nico Hulkenberg in sixth. Sergio Perez out qualified a team mate for the first time this weekend at Silverstone, and was seventh fastest while Esteban Ocon was eighth. Stoffel Vandoorne was ninth for McLaren to secure the best qualifying of his career so far while Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten for Haas.
Going into the race, Lewis Hamilton will be looking for a win in front of his home crowd to close the gap to Sebastian Vettel in the Drivers’ Championship. Ferrari will also be gunning for a good result at Silverstone, and will be aiming for a 1-2 finish due to Bottas starting down in ninth place for the race.
Qualifying results for the British Grand Prix:
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:26.600
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:27.147
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferari, 1:27.356
- Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:27.376, + 5 positions
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:28.130
- Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:28.856
- Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:28.902
- Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:29.074
- Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:29.418
- Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:29.549
- Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:30.193 (Q2)
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:30.355 (Q2)
- Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:30.600 + 30 positions (Q2)
- Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:31.368 (Q2)
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:31.482 (Q2)
- Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:42.573 (Q1)
- Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 1:42.577 (Q1)
- Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:42.593 (Q1)
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:42.633 (Q1)
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:42.966 + 5 Positions (Q1)