Hamilton and Mercedes pulverize competition in qualifying


16:14 – Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has captured pole position for the British Grand Prix with impressive time. The Brit clocked a 1.24.303 in the closing stages of qualifying, making him the fastest of all time on Silverstone’s current layout. Valtteri Bottas qualified second. Max Verstappen came in third with the Red Bull, but had to give in for a second on the pole sitter.

The twenty drivers who started qualifying for the British Grand Prix at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon were not the same twenty as those who participated in the first three races of the 2020 Formula 1 season. On Thursday evening it was announced that Racing Point driver Sergio Perez had tested positive for the corona virus and could therefore not be present this weekend. Nico Hülkenberg was rushed to Silverstone to replace the Mexican and was finally on the track just in time to participate in the first free practice. For example, on Thursday you will be on your way to the Nürburgring to drive a GT3 car there, so on Friday you will be behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car that may be fast enough to finish on the podium on Sunday. Due to the lack of any form of preparation, Hülkenberg’s activities in the free practice sessions could not be faulted.

Q1: Russell impresses again, but is under investigation
Mercedes got off to a relatively rough start on Friday, when the temperature was well above 30 degrees, but on Saturday it was significantly cooler at Silverstone, which usually benefits the performance of the W11. Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton concluded the third practice on P1 and P2 and continued that line in qualifying. The Finn was the fastest in Q1 with a 1.25.801, the Briton joined with a 1.25.900. Just like earlier in the day in the last practice session, Max Verstappen finished third in the opening phase of qualifying. The Dutchman drove a 1.26.115, with which he was not even much slower than the Mercedes and left the Racing Points of Lance Stroll and Nico Hülkenberg.

George Russell once again made his mark in qualifying by driving thirteenth in Q1, although race officials did investigate the Williams driver because he would have been insufficiently delayed for the yellow flags at the end of the session. teammate Nicholas Latifi were waved. The Canadian was spun at Luffield and also the slowest man in qualifying. No major surprises among the first dropouts: in addition to Latifi, the drivers from Haas and Alfa Romeo were too slow in Q1.

Q2: Bad qualification Albon, Hülkenberg can not surprise
The second qualifying segment did not start well for Hamilton. The Brit made a wild spin at Luffield and threw the necessary gravel on the track. The Mercedes driver quickly determined that the car was completely in order and was just about to start a new fast lap when the race officials were flying the red flag because of the pebbles he had hit on the track. After the action resumed, the championship leader was still able to finish in a fine second time, but as a precaution he did his second run on the soft tire instead of the medium rubber, which Bottas had used for the code red. to drive the fastest time in Q2.

Verstappen again signed for the third time behind the Mercedes and also has the advantage of a start on the medium band on Sunday. Meanwhile, Red Bull team-mate Alexander Albon, who is having a tough weekend after a crash on Friday, came no further than twelfth place, making the British Thai the second group of dropouts to qualify for his home race. Q2 was also the final destination for the returned Nico Hülkenberg, Daniil Kvyat and George Russel. Pierre Gasly was also ready. The AlphaTauri driver set exactly the same time as Lance Stroll, who clocked the tenth time with a 1.26.501, but because the Canadian had driven his time earlier, the Frenchman was ranked eleventh.

Q3: Mercedes is going mercilessly fast
The moment in Q2 would have no further influence on Hamilton. He opened the battle for pole position in Q3 with a 1.24.616, which Bottas just missed by crossing the line in his first run in a 1.24.766. Verstappen was again best-of-the-rest, but this time the difference with the Mercedes duo was preferably a second. Stroll was fourth in the time table on behalf of Racing Point after the first runs.

When waving the flag, Hamilton improved to a very impressive 1.24.303, which is by far the fastest time so far on Silverstone’s current layout. Bottas also went faster, but had to admit three tenths to his Mercedes colleague with a 1.24.616. Verstappen rounded the track in a 1.25.325, keeping his P3 – clearly the maximum achievable at Silverstone given Mercedes’ speed. Stroll dropped from P4 to P6 in the closing stages, as Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris went faster than the Canadian at the last minute. Carlos Sainz J., Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel, who have not had an easy time in the Ferrari SF1000 for two days, complete the top ten on the grid in England.

The Grand Prix of Great Britain starts on Sunday at 3.10 pm Dutch time.


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