Mercedes’ Hamilton grabs British Grand Prix pole
Lewis Hamilton took pole position on his home turf at the Silverstone circuit for the British Grand Prix by topping two out of three qualifying sessions.
The Briton in the process matched Jim Clark’s record of claiming five poles at a British GP. He was followed by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in second position and Sebastian Vettel in third. Lewis’ fastest time was of 1 minute 26.600 seconds almost half a second adrift of Kimi’s Ferrari behind him and more than eighth tenths of a second faster than his title rival Sebastian.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas clocked the fourth fastest time, and was followed by Max Verstappen who was fifth and the sole Red Bull to make it to the top 10. Max’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had clocked the fastest time in the first attempt of Q1 on intermediate tyres, but had to park his car on the grass due to a suspected turbo failure. The Australian was classified 20th and will start the race in second last place which is 19th on the grid.
Finishing sixth fastest in the session was Nico Hulkenberg who has managed putting the factory team Renault up the order. At the last race weekend one saw the German struggling, however there has been a new floor on his car this weekend, and a tweaked turbo. The German was as far up as third fastest in the first session of qualifying, fourth in Q2 and was fifth fastest in the first attempt of Q3 after which he couldn’t improvise on his time on the second attempt.
Clocking the seventh fastest and eighth fastest times were Force India’s Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon respectively. They were followed by McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne who qualified ninth and Haas driver Romain Grosjean who qualified tenth.
For McLaren’s star driver Fernando Alonso who put in a cracking drive to top Q1 at the beginning, sadly the momentum could not carry on to the second session. The Spaniard encountered traffic at the end of the Q2 session, which compromised his chances of displaying another phenomanl performance in Q3. The performance by Alonso was a historic one, as it was the first time after the Indian GP 2013 that a McLaren had topped a qualifying session. Despite the Spaniard’s car running an updated engine unit, he will be starting at the back of the grid due to several grid penalties for change of gearbox and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE).
Eliminated in the first qualifying session were Lance Stroll, Kevin Magnussen, Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson and Daniel Ricciardo. In the second session the drivers eliminated were Felipe Massa, Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso Daniil Kyvat and Jolyon Palmer.
With a cloudy forecast ahead for race day and a fast corner circuit like Silverstone, it will be interesting to see whether local lad Lewis manages stamping his authority, or the Ferraris who look exceptionally strong prevail at this circuit.
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