Lewis Hamilton has set a new record on his way to a sixth career pole at Silverstone ahead of his home British Grand Prix. The four times champion beat his fellow four-time champion Sebastian Vettel by a tenth to take pole.
The Mercedes driver looked committed on his final lap allowing him to set a new track record. That was despite the Englishman making a small error at the penultimate corner to improve by a tenth on his final flying lap.
Vettel suffered from a strained neck in FP3, failed to improve on his final run in Q3, but was happier with his performance during the session. He had gone fastest on his first run but was unable to improve when it mattered.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was looking strong on his final run in the first sector, but was unable to carry momentum to go fastest missing out by a hundredth of a second. Raikkonen found three tenths on that run, despite making a mistake at Vale.
Valtteri Bottas had to settle for fourth, the Mercedes driver finishing the session three tenths off his teammate. Red Bull was unable to challenge the top two teams, with Max Verstappen almost a further half a second off Bottas, while Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest.
Ricciardo’s first run in Q3 was hampered by an issue with his DRS, meaning he was unable to use it during his first run and had to manually operate it on his second run.
Hamilton said “These guys are the best. Aw man, I gave it everything I could, and it was so close with these Ferraris. and I was just praying I could do it for you guys. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.”
Bottas told Sky Sports, “ I think my final qualifying lap was going well until the last two corners. I went a bit too deep into Turn 16 and lost a couple of tenths. Other than that, it was good. Ferrari look strong. Red Bull seem a bit off, but you never know.”
Haas has continued their strong run of qualifying results, the American team locked out the fourth row for the second time this week. Kevin Magnussen was two tenths faster than his teammate Romain Grosjean. While Charles Leclerc once again got his Sauber into the top ten, starting ninth ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
For the first time neither this season, neither of the Renaults made it through to Q3. Nico Hulkenberg missed out by five-hundredths of a second, starting ahead of his former teammate Sergio Perez. The German was squeezed out by Leclerc in the closing moments of Q2/
McLaren’s dramatic week continued as Fernando Alonso was only thirteenth, he out-qualified his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne for the tenth time this year.
Williams home race failed to deliver the upwards shift the team needed, following their poor season. Lance Stroll failed to set a time after beaching his car after spinning off. While his teammate Sergey Sirotkin spun at Stowe but has been placed under investigation.
Stroll’s off caused the red flag, during the six-minute stoppage Sirotkin failed to return to the pits. The Russian had to settle for eighteenth ahead of Stroll.
Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley did not take part in qualifying, following a crash in third practice.
The New Zealander has been under increasing pressure because he has been unable to deliver results for the team. Questions continue about whether he will remain with Toro Rosso this season.