Valtteri Bottas has beaten his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by six-thousandths of a second to take pole position for the British Grand Prix. The Finn set the pace on his first run in Q3, while his teammates run in the session was compromised when he lost the rear at Brooklands.
Although Bottas was unable to improve on his second run in Q3, Hamilton fell just short of grabbing pole position having not been able to match his first-sector pace from the first run. The Englishman made the mistake which cost him a fifth back to back pole at Silverstone.
Bottas will be looking for his first win since Azerbaijan, in a bid to stop his teammates easy run to his sixth world title. A win could turn the tide against his teammate as he looks on course for another win, he was very close behind
Both Mercedes drivers will start on the less grippy, but more durable medium tyre after using that compound to progress to Q3. However, Ferrari’s cars set their quickest times on the red-striped soft tyre.
Another impressive session saw Charles Leclerc look as if he could challenge the Mercedes, however the Ferrari driver fell short. The Monacan looked to have the pace in Q2, before following Hamilton by losing the rear at Brooklands. However, he managed to improve from fourth to third.
But Leclerc again was the stand out Ferrari, getting within a tenth of Bottas and out pacing his nearest rival Max Verstappen by a tenth. However, lost out to the Silver Arrows in the final sector. He still, however, found the pace to move ahead.
Red Bulls Pierre Gasly was fifth fastest but was still unable to beat teammate Verstappen in the session. While Sebastian Vettel only managed sixth, the German six tenth off the pace. He starts ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.
Bottas: “It reminds you why you do it. It has been really close all weekend with Lewis but I just managed to get good lap and beat him to pole. The first lap was good but not perfect and I should have improved on the second run but I couldn’t get the lap together.”
Hamilton: “Congratulations to Valtteri. He did a solid job throughout qualifying but ultimately [I was] not good enough. At the end, I had that mistake on the first lap and the second one wasn’t that great.”
As he was cheered by the crowd during his post-qualifying interview, Hamilton added: “It’s the best Grand Prix of the year. These tracks are great but without people to fill it up and bring energy, it’s nothing. We have the best fans here.”
Leclerc: “In Q2 we were quite good but then in Q3 Mercedes turned up the engine a little bit and they were very, very quick. Also, round the corners is where we need to improve and we know it. Third is the best we could do and I am very happy about it.”
Lando Norris starts his first home race eighth ahead of the British-Thai Alex Albon. Both, getting through to Q3 after Albon went ninth in the closing moments of Q2, being four hundredths faster than Nico Hulkenberg. The battle to get into Q3 was tight.
Both Antiono Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen missing out, with the Italian two hundredths faster than the 2007 world champion. Carlos Sainz was another unable to improve, he starts thirteenth ahead the Haas of Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez.
Kevin Magnussen was the surprise casualty of Q1, the Dane ran through the gravel at the Luffield right-hander on his final lap while “trying to make up for something that wasn’t there”, so was unable to improve on his first-run time.
Daniil Kvyat failed to improve, his “poor” lap leaving him seventeenth ahead of Lance Stroll. The Canadian running wide through the exit of Stowe and Club, meaning he lost time.
George Russell won the intra-Williams battle for nineteenth place, lapping almost half-a-second faster than teammate Robert Kubica.