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Hamilton Takes Dominant Pole In Front Of Delighted Home Fans
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  29 Jun 2013   |  2:49 pm GMT  |  253 comments

Lewis Hamilton spread delight across the Northamptonshire countryside today as he took a dominant pole position at his home Grand Prix, heading a Mercedes front-row lock out with Sebastian Vettel completing the top three.

But there was dismay for Paul di Resta, who qualified in fifth place only for his Force India car to be found 1.5kg underweight. He was moved to the back of the grid.

Following their strong one lap pace in Free Practice, qualifying looked set to be a battle between the Mercedes pair and the Red Bulls as they swapped fastest time throughout the hour.

And on the second set of runs in the top ten shoot-out Nico Rosberg took thousandths off of his British team mate’s time to hold provisional pole, before Hamilton eclipsed the field with a sensational lap to take his 28th career pole and his second at Silverstone.

The British Grand Prix has not been won from pole since 2009, but that unpromising statistic does not dampen Hamilton’s mood this afternoon after an excellent lap.

“It feels incredible to be on pole, just like it did back in 2007,” he said. “We have the greatest Formula One fans in the world here in Britain and there was a great turnout today, which makes the atmosphere so special.

Red Bull had threatened session long with Vettel shadowing the pace of the Mercedes in the first two sessions. But he and team mate Mark Webber were unable to compete with the 1.6 seconds time gain that Hamilton found between Q2 and Q3.

However Vettel and Webber were both satisfied with the result in the knowledge that their race pace is superior to the qualifying specialists at Mercedes. Interestingly they prioritised saving medium tyres for the race, while Mercedes went with medium tyres in Q1, clearly wanting to save hard tyres for the race.

Behind the top four Paul Di Resta added to the smiles on the home fans faces as he took fifth position in a very good session for the Scot. He illustrated last time out in Canada that Force India have very good race pace and with team mate Adrian Sutil beginning the race in seventh place the Silverstone based team are in a strong position to put more distance between themselves and McLaren in the Constructors’ championship.

Daniel Ricciardo in six place, equalling his career best, fills the space between the Force India duo with an equally impressive session. The Australian was on the pace all afternoon and after taking fifth place in Q2 he looked set for a high starting position as he looks to impress the bosses at Red Bull who have said that Webber’s seat for 2014 will be filled by either a Toro Rosso driver or Kimi Raikkonen.

The Finn had another low-key qualifying session for Lotus, ending the day in ninth place sandwiched between his team mate, Romain Grosjean, and Fernando Alonso in a lacklustre Ferrari, who was 1.3 seconds off the pace.

Ferrari had been struggling to get the tyres warmed up throughout Free Practice 3 and Alonso couldn’t compete with his title rivals today. He admitted that he is worried about the decline in Ferrari’s performance lately and called it the “worst Saturday” of the season so far, “We seem to perform worse and worse, ” he said. “If you remember at the beginning of the year both Ferraris were competitive. We were on the first two rows in the first three or four races. Even in Malaysia Felipe started on the front row of the grid – we were second and third – and here we start getting in positions that are familiar unfortunately, which is fighting for Q3 as we were last year.”

The same was true for McLaren; with little expectations heading in to his home race, Jenson Button was relatively pleased to end up in eleventh place today and give himself a good chance of points as the first runner with a free tyre choice.

The fourth and final Brit on this year’s British Grand Prix grid is Max Chilton in the Marussia team. He had a tricky session and completed the grid with a time almost two seconds slower than his team mate.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Silverstone, Qualifying
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m29.607s
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m30.059s
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m30.211s
4. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m30.220s
5. Paul di Resta Force India 1m30.736s
6. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m30.757s
7. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m30.908s
8. Romain Grosjean Lotu 1m30.955s
9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m30.962s
10. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.979s
11. Jenson Button McLaren 1m31.649s + 0.659s
12. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.779s + 0.789s
13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m31.785s + 0.795s
14. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m32.082s + 1.092s
15. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m32.211s + 1.221s
16. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m32.359s + 1.369s
17. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m32.664s + 1.669s
18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m32.666s + 1.671s
19. Charles Pic Caterham 1m33.866s + 2.871s
20. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m34.108s + 3.113s
21. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m35.481s + 4.486s
22. Max Chilton Marussia 1m35.858s + 4.863s

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253 Comments
  1. BRAWN GP says:

    LEWIS YOU MACHINE!
    now hopefully mercedes can covert this into strong finish on Sudnay. Seeing Kimmi and Alonso finish so low down the order give me slight hope that maybe lewis can challenge for the WDC this year if Mercedes keeps up the progress.

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Lewis is finally back! IMO he can win since for Vettel a P2 or P3 finish is a very good result having Alonso far behind.

      Incredibly Mercedes has started the year fighting for P5 in the Constructor’s and tomorrow they’re going to fight for an stunning P2, so who is gonna retire Brawn then at the end of the year? It’s so far a great success for him since the 2009 campaign.

      1. Fanboys are pathetic says:

        Thanks to secret tyre test…

      2. gudien says:

        Yeh, great. And all it took was a little illegal testing.

        Will Lewis and Nico wear black helmets for the race?

      3. BRAWN GP says:

        Well Nico on in P1 will do nicely….fantastic. Come on guys don’t be sour, Mercedes went to the tribunal fair and square. Its not their fault the tribunal are useless and accepted Mercedes suggestion for the punishment. Mercedes found a loop hole and you cant say any other team wouldn’t have done the same if the roles were reversed. I think Ross Brawn explained the black helmets were for the drivers safety as the security at the track was non existent at that stage.

  2. JohnBt says:

    Raceday will be full house with Hamilton on pole.

    1. Monji says:

      Tell me about it

  3. AlexD says:

    What happened to Ferrari since Canada?
    Congrats to Hamilton and his fans.

    1. uncas says:

      Ferrari needs to do a three da test as Mercedes did………Someone is thinking that Merc test didn’t help them??

      1. Kingszito says:

        Mercedes has always been faster than Ferrari including other teams in (dry) qualifiers this season, and if you ever think that a three day Pirelli tyre test with Mercedes is the silver bullet to Mercedes victory tomorrow (if they win or perform better), then you are not being truthful to yourself.

      2. Veena says:

        We all know that Merc didn’t gain anything by the secret tire test. They actually lost development time and that is a great sacrifice they have made for the welfare of F1.

      3. BW says:

        Was this Merc test before or after the Spanish GP where Merc locked front row, with Rosberg finding over a second between Q2 and Q3?

      4. Martin says:

        The test was on the Tuesday to Thursday after the Spanish race.

        You need to be careful looking at Q2 to Q3 times. Firstly Mercedes in Spain and here ran the same tyres in Q1 and Q2 so Q1 is often better than Q2. In Q3 the engine modes get turned up for those cars that can get through Q2 easily. The drivers reduce their margin for error – in effect not anticipating track evolution and just trusting what they know and take fewer risk with wind direction.

      5. AlexD says:

        Yes, nobody’s stupid. But Red Bull did not test.

      6. Robbie says:

        So how is it that Red Bull are doing so well without a three day test?

      7. f1future says:

        Pehaps because they got the fastest Driver?

      8. Niko says:

        Hmmm. I wonder what kind of penalty should apply to Lotus, as their suspension is found to be illegal! And yet, they are still allowed to race today! So get over this 3-day test. Mercedes will lose the YDT and as Brawn said, is not helping at all losing it. Ferrari is bad in developing their car at the moment. Simple as that.

      9. KRB says:

        Yeah, I don’t get this. Ok, we don’t know the whole back story, but it just seems with the FIA that you can run something “on the edge” that might specifically suit the track you’re on, and you can claim you have no other components to replace the deemed illegal parts with, and still race with it that weekend!

        Maybe the FIA had previously cleared it, and is now going back on it (they’ve done that many times before), but it’s all just totally backwards.

        The YDT is now a 3-day test and you can use your race drivers. And they’ll be testing out whatever new rubber Pirelli is going to bring to the remaining races. So it’s definitely not a “nothing” penalty.

    2. anon says:

      If you look at Alonso throughout his career he’s always done best when there’s been no expectation on his shoulders. Without a doubt up until this point in the season he has had the best car, but has made mistakes in races, mistakes in qualifying, then you have inexplicable performances like Monaco where he was getting passed by a McLaren and Force India.

      I think the weight of expectation is simply too much at this point in the season. Vettel is the opposite. He thrives when it comes to the business end of the season.

      1. Hansb says:

        You just dont want to see the Ferrari / Pirelli combination is not the best over a weekend (except for Spain and maybe China) do you?
        Why do you have to question the performance of Alonso when he has a teammate who (except for one race a year) is half a second slower in qualifying and race but still manages to crash.

      2. Aman says:

        Lol what on earth?

      3. Martin says:

        There was an explanation for Monaco – his front wing got clogged with debris and hence he was weak in the latter part of the race, which made him a little more vulnerable.

      4. Ahmed says:

        Anon,
        100% Agree with you. Alonso thrives on being the underdog, ie 2012 when the Championship was on the line in the last 4-5 races & he went missing in qualifying. Also 2007, when he should’ve nailed A rookie Hamilton & fended off Raikonnen. 2010 when he was leading going into the last race and once again under performed in quali and was stuck behind Petrov for the whole race.
        When the pressure is on, Alonso seems to underperform…

    3. Spinodontosaurus says:

      Gap between the fastest Ferrari (and it’s grid position) and the pole sitter:

      AUS – 1 second (P4)
      MAL – 9 tenths (P2)
      CHI – 3 tenths (P3)
      BAH – 3 tenths (P3)
      SPA – 5 tenths (P5)
      MON – 1 second (P6)
      CAN – 1.1 seconds (P6)
      ENG – 1.3 seconds (P10)

      However, with the exception of Monaco, they have arguably had the best race pace at every event so far.

      I think the poor qualifying position is just as much to do with the others closing up and Ferrari falling back.
      _______________________

      Congrats to Hamilton though on setting a new record lap (although why this is notable enough to be mentioned yet Vettel’s continual setting of record laps in 2010/2011 was not… I don’t know).

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      Did Alonso qualify on the harder tyre?

  4. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Wow. Lewis mate, I’m not a fan, but that lap was mega.

    Lucky it was a track with low braking requirements, but despite that, still wow. Almost half a sec on Rosberg, who ain’t slow, is a mega performance.

    Britain needs a winner. Lets hope tyres don’t burn out.

    1. KRB says:

      It was a great lap … is that the biggest margin for pole this year? It is a longish lap, but still.

      Would be nice if the Merc’s could surprise tomorrow with race pace as well, but I doubt it. Maybe the FRIC system is comin’ good on this track?

      Vettel or Webber for the win.

      1. Juzh says:

        vettel had 1s advantage on massa in malaysia.

      2. KRB says:

        True, but that was also down to the conditions. To rephrase, it’s the biggest pole margin in a bone dry Q3 session, so far.

        RA = rain affected in Q3

        AUS – VET 0.420 WEB
        MAL – VET 0.913 MAS (RA)
        CHN – HAM 0.280 RAI
        BHN – ROS 0.254 VET
        ESP – ROS 0.254 HAM
        MON – ROS 0.091 HAM
        CAN – VET 0.087 HAM (RA)
        GBR – HAM 0.452 ROS

      3. Glennb says:

        It was a great lap …
        Absolutely

        is that the biggest margin for pole this year? It is a longish lap, but still.
        I think Seb was on pole in Malaysia by like 1 sec to Massa?

        Vettel or Webber for the win.
        Absolutely ;)

      4. Grant H says:

        What a lap, good to see Lewis comfortable with the car at last, really be amazing if he can convert it

      5. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Yeah it’s likely to be an RBR affair KRB. At this circuit, and probably only this circuit, Mark and Seb seem almost perfectly matched over the years. Couldn’t pick it. It will depend on the start mostly.

        This, IMHO, will be Webber final chance to truest shine as the faster RBR driver. After Silverstone, that’s it maybe until Brazil where MW can match SV sometimes.

  5. Danny Almonte says:

    That was amazing. Great performances from Hamilton and Rosberg. Finally, Mercedes AMG have two drivers capable of extracting the maximum performance from the car on a consistent basis. The Mercedes AMG tire degradation will always be a concern until they prove otherwise.

    Just love how this team continues to maintain a solid rate of developments that improve performance. The feedback from Rosberg and Hamilton must be worth its weight in gold.

    Hamilton made a good move in ditching McLaren. Looks like Button hasn’t got a clue how to lead a team.

    1. Andrew Carter says:

      Yeah, because Jenson and Lewis are the ones responsible for designing their cars.

    2. dean cassady says:

      I expect Rosberg to be outpaced by the chequered flag comprehensively by the end of the season, and there may be a spot there for any driver available who is better than that, several , but not many.

  6. Sebee says:

    Don’t weap for me Espaniola.

    Who would have thought that Mercedes and STR would be throwing a monkey wrench into Ferrari WDC hopes?

  7. Hal says:

    Great quali…Lewis starting to find his feet @ Merc. I just have my fingers crossed for the race but horrible feeling both Mercs will inevitably go backwards.

    1. Grant H says:

      Temps Tomo supposed to be even hotter I think the bulls will steal it

    2. Martin says:

      The two Mercedes were on the same wing levels judging by the top speeds they recorded, but there could be other set up variations that favour one driver over another – it isn’t just driver vs driver but competing race engineering teams working with their drivers to get the best possible package.

      Rosberg’s side got something wrong in Canada and Hamilton in Spain and probably Monaco. Given their different preferences, we could see race to race variations. History and fan expectations favour Hamilton, but the future is the future.

  8. Dan says:

    Pure class Lewis.

  9. kfzmeister says:

    I’m shocked, to say the least, about Ferrari’s pace.

    (A frustrated @alo_oficial is annoyed that Pirelli keeps bringing the medium and hard, “and we know that only helps two teams…”)

    Last year it was soft/hard and this year it is medium/hard.

    What do you make of this?

    Is Pirelli playing it safe, at the cost of a couple of teams?

    1. Phil Glass says:

      Alonso is perfectly right. Pirelli should have free logo space on the RB and the Merc. The medium tyre is best friend to those two.
      We will see what Mercedes race pace is like tomorrow, and whether they can convert pole to win here. They may still need a tweak or two. One more test would do it I should think.

      1. MelB says:

        Pirelli Mercedes
        Scuderia Ferrari
        Red Bull Racing
        Lotus F1

      2. Grant H says:

        What u have got to realise is Pirelli aren’t choosing those harder compounds for merc or RBR, they are crossing them as it best represents their brand, what tyre company wants to be centre of debates about how poor durability the tyres are, yes it suits those two cars but F1 is a business

    2. Kingszito says:

      The durability of this season’s Medium and Hard is more or less the same as last season’s super-soft and soft. I guess Pirelli does not want a repeat of the criticism they received after Barcelona, that’s why they are playing it safe for their company’s image at least.

      Good job Lewis! That lap was awesome! I hope Mercedes has reduced their tyre wear and could challenge the leading teams, that would throw more excitement to the Championship. Lewis vs Nico vs Vettel vs Alonso vs Kimi going for it toe to toe till the last race of the season.. wow that would be my dream F1 season.

    3. Steve says:

      As excuses go, that’s exceptionally lame. Pirelli brought the supersoft and soft tyres to Monaco, and the supersoft and medium tyres to Canada. The two teams this “helped” were RBR and Merc.

      Last time Alonso won a race it was on the medium and hard compounds.

    4. Frank says:

      Wasn’t Alonso pretty slow on the soft compound in Canada? He should be glad for the medium tires.

    5. Rich C says:

      Rubbish!
      If Pirelli was playing favorites it’d probably be an Italian team (Torro Rosso maybe? lol)

      And anyway I’m sure there was no such whining from Maranello in the years of their private deal with Bridgestone.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Bearing in mind, that Ferrari’s private deal with Bridgestone was against all of the other front runners being on Michelin.
        Do you honestly believe Jordan or Minardi would have any say on what tyres Bridgestone made, considering there was only Ferrari that could win with them?

    6. Nigel says:

      And yet the other team which is easy on the tyres – Force India – achieved an excellent qualifying result despite the low temperatures.

      And they didn’t even get a free Pirelli test.

      :-b

      1. Tim says:

        Neither did Mercedes, they paid for the test themselves – circa £1,000,0000 apparently.

      2. Tim says:

        oops, too many zeros!

    7. Andrew Carter says:

      I think it’s Alonso kicking the political football. He’d have more of a case in Hungary were Pirelli have made a surprisingly conservative choice.

    8. Quade says:

      I don’t see how bring the medium and hard can affect quali, or how anyone else can make such a connection. Does anyone really think quali is about conserving tyres?

      Talking about Mercs test during quali is either just making excuses, expressing bitterness or not having an understanding of how F1 racing works.

      1. AndyK says:

        It’s about getting them into their temperature working range on one out lap so they’re ready to go for a banzai lap
        The teams who are more gentle on the tyres struggle to do this.

      2. Heinzman says:

        It’s not about wear; it’s about getting temperature into the tyres quickly. That is why people are suggesting the harder compounds put Lotus and Ferrari at a disadvantage

      3. Quade says:

        @Heinzman and AndyK
        You have to blame the British weather for being cooler than usual, not the tyre choice.
        I’m sure none of us would suggest the tyre manufacturer consult weather predictions before making their choices. Enh? :)

    9. Danny Almonte says:

      Teams are always going to be at the mercy of the weather and Pirelli’s tire choice. They have no right to complain if Pirelli makes conservative choices.

  10. Quade says:

    What an imperious drive that was! At the post quali interview, Vettel wondered if Lewis had found a shortcut around the track!

    Go Lewis! What a guy!

    Well done to Di Resta as well.

  11. Anne says:

    Lewis on pole. What a nice surprise!!! However there is a race and many things can happen. Great job by Di Resta. Lotus and Ferrari seem to be going backwards for some reason.
    Once again tyres problem,this time the victim was Perez during practice 3.

    1. Grant H says:

      Gutted for di resta, what a shame

  12. Lars J says:

    Whats happening to Ferrari? Earlier in the season it looked like a true challenge and yet another Alonso-Vettel battle. Barcelona was powerplay and Vettel didn’t have an answer. And since then – well, Ferraris imporvement is the reverse gear – how come ?

  13. sjm says:

    Looks like the Paddy Lowe effect is already kicking in. I hope they have improved tyres.

    1. Scuderia McLaren says:

      Don’t be silly. Paddy has zero to do with this result. His input won’t materialise in the car or running of the car for some time yet. This top flight quali car is the result of Ross Brawn, Aldo Costa,Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. The extra 4.5 tenths was Lewis. Toto, Lauda, Paddy have had zero technical or sporting performance impact yet on the Merc car.

      1. Valentino from montreal says:

        Rosberg has the only Merc win so far this season + more poles …

        : ))

      2. Paige says:

        And Lewis has outqualified Nico 5-3, beat him in race 5-2, and has more points, despite having difficulty with a new braking system the whole year before he had it changed in Canada. In two qualifying sessions since the change in the braking system in Canada, Lewis has outqualified Nico by .496 and .452 seconds, respectively.

      3. Andrew Carter says:

        But is losing 5-3 to Lewis in the qualy this year.

      4. Kingszito says:

        @Valentino

        ..and Rosberg has more points as that is what counts at the end of the season..oh I am sorry! Lewis has more points and he is relatively a new driver in the team Rosberg has been since three years. Don’t start inter-team war, because Lewis and Rosberg are very good drivers and they are both doing fine. If you really want to compare with your statistics, then Lewis is a better driver!

      5. Quade says:

        Such words are always swallowed in due time. Just a few months ago, there were similar prophesies about how Lewis had ended his career by joining Merc. Who’s laughing now?

      6. Gazza says:

        Yes Val, but Lewis has only just joined the team. Nico has pipped him by a 10th or so it’s true

        Even you can appreciate that 1/2 a second was “phenomenal ” . Brawn and Vettel can. :))

      7. Elie says:

        Like I told you VAL-Lewis will be dominant by mid season. He has already out qualified a very quick Nico 5/3. Wait till the second half Val–You will be munching on your tongue !

      8. SKan says:

        Don’t forget Charlie Whiting!

      9. Rich C says:

        Do you have permission to say that?

      10. Pete_from_Nepal says:

        hahahaha. Nice one, SKan. In all seriousness though, not sure the testing really helped that much…

      11. SKan says:

        I mentioned in jest. If a team couldn’t fix the same problem with the car in 3 years, a 1000 km test doesn’t help much either.

      12. sjm says:

        You cant discount his presence mate, he is certainly the only person in the Merc garage who knows what Lewis needs to get the best out if him. He has worked with him the longest.

      13. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Good point there.

      14. RobertEB says:

        Paddy’s contribution is that Mac cannot sort themselves out ???

  14. Frank says:

    0.6 seconds quicker than a Red Bull. Well done Ross, Pirelli and FIA ;)

    1. Cos says:

      @Frank (14) …nah wasn’t anything to do with them…didn’t you hear Seb? Apparanetly Lewis found a short cut ;) like Lewis saying he’s going to gun it hahahaha

    2. uncas says:

      I agree with you. WDC has been manipulated, I’m almost sure the tyres have been changed. Why did pirelly bring medium and hard? What’s the reason? In order to…….Merc and RB…..

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        Because it’s a high speed, high load track, it was always going to have the harder tyres like Barcelona.

      2. Anne says:

        I´m not sure. Look at Force India, nothing has changed for the worst for them.

      3. SKan says:

        Ferrari and Lotus were the two teams that were opposed to Pirelli modifying the tire compounds. That despite Pirelli wanting to change for safety reasons. Pirelli made the right choice in bringing the harder compounds if they know that the softer ones cannot handle the high speed corners at Silverstone. Its funny when Ferrari call Red Bull sore losers. Its hypocritical when they had just won a race on the same tire compounds.

    3. Sebee says:

      “I think P3 was our maximum today but for tomorrow who knows, they are also getting better,” said Vettel, before referring to the recent test-gate scandal involving Pirelli and Mercedes: “It helps the more time we spend on the tyres. Let’s leave it there.”

      ;-)

    4. Quade says:

      Can any of you wise souls tell us how tyres affect quali pace when there is no need to conserve them? I’m dying for that nugget of wisdom.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        There is the element of how a car works its tyres and such, so some tyres will invariably favour more teams than others.

        Having said that, the Mercedes has been the fastest car throughout the whole year on every compound (although they can’t quite compete with Vettel in wet weather), so the tyre choice here is pretty irrelevant to their pole position.

      2. Sri says:

        Putting heat into tyres quickly in quali works the same way as degrading fast in the race. Lotus and Ferrai have those problems in quali.

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        I’m assuming that the harder a car is on the tryes, the quicker it gets the tyre up to working temperature.
        Perfect for qualifying, but brings about problems for longevity in the race.

      4. quad says:

        To produce a fast qualy lap you need to be able to warm up tyres to optimal temp fast enough to be able to produce an optimal qualy lap.

        Harder tyres => take longer to get up in right temperature, for cars easier on their tyres (eg Ferrari & Lotus) compared to cars harder on tyres (e g Mercedes & RBull).

        Of course, since the illegal 3-day-test Mercedes did after Barcellona, not sure if they still have that problem (being hard on tyres).

      5. Quade says:

        How come Di Resta qualified so high up then? I guess that sinks the tyre choice argument pretty comprehensively. No?

  15. Sebee says:

    Grosjean out qualified Kimi? OUCH!

    1. Elie says:

      By 6/1000 of a sec. That passive DRS obviously not great as akimi was sliding a bit

    2. Phil Glass says:

      Bizarre that their times were virtually matched through all the sessions SFAIR. Very different configurations, and tyres at times. No great breakthrough with the ddrs…. maybe tomorrow will tell? manyana manyana.

      1. Chris M says:

        DDRS by its nature should have more impact in the race when the other cars can’t use DRS in the designated zones. That said if it were THAT beneficial we should have seen at least some advantage, however slight, in qualifying.

        I wonder if the extra drag and reduction in aerodynamic efficiency when it’s not activated is outweighing the drag reduction when it is. There’s a fair bit more bodywork in the airstream.

    3. Aey says:

      Kimi will benefit to gain few place, Grosjean will knock some car in front out for him.

      or

      If Grosjean cleanly finish, I bet Kimi will finish in front anyway.

  16. BoogWar says:

    What can I say? That lap was simply AMAZING. GO LEWIS!

    1. Sami says:

      And remember that he made “the mistake of his life” by going to Merc, where are the doomsayers now? ;)

    2. Sid says:

      Another man – Seb Vettel has 39 poles, nearly all of them as stellar as today’s Hamilton’s pole lap; go and watch.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        ^This. Vettel pulls out laps like Hamilton’s week in week out, although he only rarely actually receives any due praise for them.

      2. Tom says:

        Yeah, not quite mate. Keep telling yourself that ;)

  17. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    The season is ended for Alonso, four years at Ferrari and nothing….
    I think that he will not win another championship. His time is over.

    1. Sebee says:

      Such a promising partnership, and after 4 years it can only be described with one word.

    2. Valentino from montreal says:

      Yup

    3. Craig D says:

      Well the blame certainly can’t be laid at Alonso’s door. And while Ferrari have done a good enough job at various times, it’s the strength of the pesky Red Bull and The Finger that are the ’cause’!

    4. Pasq says:

      His time is over? Sometimes you just can’t win, pele won 3 world cups to maradonas one, it doesn’t mean he is a greater player does it. It’s circumstances, I truly believe that if alonso was given a truly dominant car, he could possibly do a perfect season and win all races, given reliability. He’s up there as one the greatest f1 drivers of all time, just chill, we know vettel is great too, but why the hostility, f1 standard is so high at the moment. If Ferrari cannot improve car over the year like last year they are in trouble, alonso’s car stayed the same from Hungarian Grand Prix to the end last year, none of the upgrades worked.

      1. Rockie says:

        What a ridiculous statement? “Sometimes you just can’t win, pele won 3 world cups to maradonas one, it doesn’t mean he is a greater player does it. It’s circumstances”
        Please go and read the history books as you really have no idea what went on then.
        Do you realize the year he was injured Brazil didn’t win?

      2. Pasq says:

        No need to look at the history books, that was 66, and the brazil team as a whole were not prepared, ask tostau! As for 62 he only played the first two games then got injured, but the team had other stars especially garincia who was player of the tournament.
        Lets get this straight I adore pele, he’s a hero of mine, but cannot be compared to the greatest sporting talent, a true gift from god, a freak of nature like maradona.
        The point I am making is that even if vettel wins this years WDC, doesn’t mean he is a greater driver than alonso. As for Hamilton, he is incredibly talented, but has not driven like in 2007 when he was everybody’s darling and had no expectation, he deserved it more in 07 than 08, just like Kimi in 03 than 07! Once the expectation grew, he started to fail, he needs to develop his brain more.
        Like I said it’s sometimes down to circumstances.

      3. Quade says:

        Sorry, there’s no one like Pele, just as there’s currently no one like Lewis.

      4. Pasq says:

        Pele is great, but please read my above comment.

    5. f1future says:

      Schumi did win in his 5th year at Ferrari. so have Patience mates!

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        His 5th and 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th…

  18. Abusaalim says:

    Am on a flight over Saudi Arabia and just heard the great news that Hamilton did it. Can’t wait to see the replay of Quali. I sense the red bulls will be quick in race but am hoping the Mercs can finally keep up with them and pull out an excellent strategy to take a win. A little shocked about the ferraris but they can hope for top 5 finish too. Looking forward to Hamilton taking the win InshAllah (God Willing in Arabic).

  19. Sri says:

    Pirelli has awarded WDC to RedBull. They made conservative tyre choices in all the coming up few races and both Lotus and Ferrari that thrive on race day due to tyre conservation got penalized. Now Vettel will not be caught easily. How could one outsider determine who should win the Championship? Why did they make different tyre choices from those of last year? This season is ruined and MANIPULATED.

    1. Steve says:

      >”They made conservative tyre choices in all the coming up few races”

      No, they did not. There is no such thing as “conservative tyre choices”. There are simply the tyre choices which are made.

      Bridgestone used to change compounds between races as well. The difference is, they never told anyone about it. Pirelli should start doing the same.

      >”both Lotus and Ferrari that thrive on race day due to tyre conservation got penalized.”

      The way they got “penalized” at Montreal and Monaco while running on the softest compounds?

      >”Why did they make different tyre choices from those of last year?”

      Why not? It’s normal to make different tyre choices from those of last year. Why did they change the tyres AT ALL from those of last year?

      1. Sri says:

        1. There are conservative and non-conservative choices based on a team’s performance. For some teams the current choice is optimum where as for others who have better tyre-management it is conservative.
        2. Regarding Bridgestones: Just because the past was bad, does not mean we need to continue to do the same. If we follow that policy then we are advocating we should not have any change forever. Then if that is the argument, then why change the compounds from what was used last year?
        3. Performance in Monaco has nothing to do with tires as that track is anyway not much tire-management related. In Montreal, Alonso had a good race where as Kimi had brake issues. So tire-management was non-effective for him. Also those two tracks are not normal race tracks unlike Silverstone and some later races.
        4. Yes, it is debatable why they changed the tyre compounds from last year. But what is NOT debatable is given that the compounds have been changed, to change the “normal” practice of carrying the same types of tyres from last year in the mid-season after having known what compound favors what team in the earlier races of this season having followed the “normal” practice. It is understandable if they have changed for a race or two citing some safety/technical reason. But changing it for four races or so (I think) when that particular choice definitely benefits certain teams while neutralizing others’ advantage is bound to invite criticism if not accusations of favoritism.

      2. Steve says:

        >”to change the “normal” practice of carrying the same types of tyres from last year ..”

        There is no such “normal practice”. The “normal practice” is for Pirelli to adjust the tyre compounds they bring to each race based on how the tyres perform in the previous races, which is exactly what they are doing this year and exactly what they did in other years.

      3. David C says:

        This year the tyres are different than last years, last years soft dose not equal this years soft and so on therefore you cannot compare tyre choices with last year. It’s like tring to say David haye and David Letterman are the same. They are both called David but they are not the same thing, one is a boxer the other is a TV show host.

      4. David C says:

        Hey Sei, as I said earlier the tyres arnt equiviical to last year but there are a few things we need to consider, firstly Pirelli choose the compounds if not them who should make the decision. Secondly they are supposed to make selections which require 2/3 stops, if the podium is full of drivers who made 2 or 3 stops its mission accomplished. However if the podium is full of drivers who made 1 or 4+ stops you are right and they have brought the wrong tyres. Finally if the winners have made 1 or 4+ stops and Pirelli expected that and did it anyway to favor a team then they are guilty of conspiracy. I think tomorrow will be a 2 or 3 stop race and as such the tyres selected are appropriate but if the podium is full of 1 or 4+ runners you are right and Pirelli have made a wrong choice. Let’s see what happens, I’ll post another reply tomorrow after the race. I hope you enjoy the race tomorrow and otherwise have a food day.

      5. David Curtis says:

        Hey SRI as promised im just going to leave you a follow up. Firstly I know the tyre situation was a bit crazy but if we look beyond that and consider your accusation of the trye compounds selected were too conservative. Even without the SV safety car it looked like everybody was going to be a mix of 2 or 3 stops with more people on 3 stops. This is what Pirelli were contracted to provide.

      6. Afonso Ronda says:

        Great one Steve…!
        “Why not? It’s normal to make different tyre choices from those of last year. Why did they change the tyres AT ALL from those of last year?”

    2. uncas says:

      I coudn’t agree with you more……

    3. Sven says:

      LOL I’m sorry, but on these very tyres Ferrari had the most dominant race in Barcelona.

      Choosing harder compounds is understandable after Ferrari and Lotus didn’t let the tyres to be changed despite the numerous tyre failures.

      Aren’t tyres the same for everyone? :) It’s funny that the very same people who were saying this, now are crying about the tyre choices.

      1. AmosTeshuva90 says:

        These tyres have a higher temperature operating window than the supersofts and the softs, suiting them to very high temperatures. Silverstone is nowhere near Barcelona temperature wise.

      2. Sri says:

        Tyre are same for everyone, but when a decision is made in the mid-season to potentially benefit certain teams deviating from what had been a normal practice, then of course cries of bias come into play. What everyone is asking is to be consistent and not change the choices based on the results of certain teams.

      3. Quade says:

        @Sven
        Don’t mind them, Pirellis tyre choice don’t even matter for quali. Only those who don’t follow F1 would think they do.

      4. Sri says:

        If tyres have no effect on quali — that is the conclusion of an “informed” F1 fan? No wonder FIA/Pirelli can get away with this average F1 fan who is so well-informed. As mentioned elsewhere, tyre-management in a race and putting heat into tyres quickly in quali works similarly.

      5. Quade says:

        So how come Di Resta finished so high up and did well in the race (Force India is even better on tyres than Ferrari and Lotus). Conversely, how come Merc qualified so blindingly and went on to have some of the best tyre wear in the race?

        It just goes to show that the “tyre consumption theories” are old wives tales that serve no purpose.

      6. Monza71 says:

        Yes, tyres are the same for everyone – except when the tyre provider is Bridgestone and the tyres just happen to be specifically optimised for Ferrari and one M.Schumacher.

        Ferrari are a good, maybe even a great team but except during the Schumacher era when they could exploit every advantage including the constant use of their private test track, they have rarely produced a car capable of beating those built by the pesky English-based “Garagisters”

        Despite probably having the best all round driver, this is clearly their problem in 2013.

    4. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Some people have said before that all the teams have the same tires and you have to deal with it (Kimi?).

    5. Nigel says:

      Force India also “thrives on tyre conservation”.

      Didn’t see any of their fans complaining about the tyre choices after qualifying.

    6. Phil Glass says:

      You are only too right Sri.

    7. Andrew Carter says:

      For the uninformed. Those with longer memories will remember that the the soft tyre didn’t work too well last year in the race, not that it matters because the compounds are softer and the construction has a higher working temperature this year, making comparison to last years choices a fools errand. Secondly, Force India are also very good on their tyres (witness Di Resta’s 56 laps on a single set in Canada) and they’re going very quickly this weekend, so put your tinfoil hat away.

    8. Jean-Christophe says:

      The tyres allocated for the last four races.

      Barcelona – medium, hard
      Monaco – supersoft, soft
      Montreal – supersoft, medium
      Silverstone – medium, hard

      1) Pirelli are not “continuously choosing medium and hard for every race”.
      2) Alonso’s last race win came on the medium/hard tyre combination.
      3) Alonso did poorly at Monaco on the softest compounds, and was beaten by Vettel at Montreal on fairly soft tyres.

      Got that from a post on f1fanatics.
      The tyre excuse is pretty poor

    9. Aey says:

      If tyre allocation is soft. Do you think only Ferrari and Lotus will run faster, Merc and RB will run slower in Qualify. Wake up

      In the race, Medium or Soft doesn’t make much different for Merc, they will use them only few lap in 1st stint anyway, the rest is hard. In Bacellona, Merc still suffer with hard.

      Tyre choice, If the tyre is soft, you think Ferrari will run like Soft, Soft, Soft, Hard. I still think Ferrari will run Soft, Hard, Hard anyway.

      With this Hi speed cuircuit, you think who will not run most stint on Hard.

  20. goferet says:

    Superb job by the Mercedes team on their 3rd one-two and congrats to Lewis on his 28th pole. Brilliant day for the home fans.

    Also good job on Di Resta for achieving his best start of his career. Yes with these kind of performances it won’t be long before that podium comes knocking.

    The Red Bulls were solid if not spectacular but championship wise, the team was the biggest winner today.

    Was pretty surprised by Lotus and Ferrari’s pace, didn’t expect to see them that far back.

    Also good job by the-Webber’s-seat- candidate >>> Ricciardo on grabbing 6th place however, considering there are fast cars behind him, Vergne may seem as the winner come Sunday as he will been seen as having made up ground.

    Shame about the British teams of Mclaren and Williams, hopefully they can do something special with the strategy.

    P.s.

    Since 2004, only 3 times has the pole sitter gone on to win whilst the P2 sitter has won 6 times in 9 years.

    Fun fact

    Today is Nicole Scherzinger’s birthday.

    Thanks Nicole!

    1. Phil Glass says:

      oops. Sorry.

    2. egoFret says:

      Yes, extremely relevant F1 birthday statistic today.

      Now, inexplicably you forgot to state the number.

      Ps.
      35

    3. treeFog says:

      Why do you lie so much gofer?

      The British GP pole sitter has only won twice since 2004 – Alonso in 2006 and Vettel in 2009!

      And the P2 sitter has only won 3 times. Interestingly, the P4 sitter has also won 3 times since 2004 – Perhaps an omen for a Webber win tomorrow!!!

    4. Greg (Aus) says:

      I was quite chuffed to see Ricciardo come out strongly. Hopefully all goes well for him tomorrow!

      Cheers,

      Greg

    5. Wade Parmino says:

      Ricciardo was the standout performance of the day. Of all the cars in the top ten, he should have been 10th. For him to manage 6th (which should become 5th with DiResta’s penalty) is absolutely tremendous. Even if he loses places in the race and Vergne gains some, team bosses are not so stupid or blind to the factors which would contribute to this occurrence. Vergne is pretty inconsistent and Ricciardo should be well ahead of him in the championship if not for the technical issues he had earlier in the season.

  21. Elie says:

    Fantastic lap by Lewis!. But honestly Pirelli need to be dumped – fancy changing compounds to medium and hard just to piss off Ferrari and Lotus who were always going to struggle on the harder compounds.
    Is that like a “thank you Mr Brawn for helping us out “.
    Hopefully Seb and Mark won’t storm past mid race or sooner and disappear..
    What’s with this crappy passive DRS on the Lotus- their just going backwards- maybe with full fuel in the car it will be more effective early on..

    1. Quade says:

      How come Force India weren’t disadvantaged then? They are as good with their tyres as Ferrari and Lotus (maybe even better). In Canada, Di Resta did 57 laps on a single set of tyres.

      Alonso gave the real reason, which is; Ferrari has fallen behind in the development race.

      1. mbraz says:

        I 100% agree, and lotus were a lot more comfortable on the harder of the 2 compounds, so it is not adding up that the harder choices of compounds are to blame.

      2. Elie says:

        Same for Lotus. But you gotta ask yourself would the likes of Force India have been quicker in Softs. Guess we’ll never know.

      3. Tim says:

        +1
        I shouldn’t imagine that Massa’s apparent inability to avoid the barriers is helping team development very much either. I think they mentioned (in commentary) 3 races in a row he has bent the car now.

    2. colin grayson says:

      the medium is , in effect , last years soft ; so no change from last year

      1. Elie says:

        The cars are different this year & the testing was done the whole of tyres for this year not just the mediums and hards

  22. Richard says:

    Yes absolutely scintillating lap from Lewis Hamilton. – I have always said give him the car with the appropriate set up, and he will produce the goods. I just hope that Mercedes can keep Red Bull at bay in the race which is going to be difficult due to their high energy tyre input. – Unless of course they’ve fixed or fixed it enough. If Mercedes can make a quantitive improvement at every race on rear tyre performance then they stand a very good chance of catching Red Bull as top results for Mercedes in this and the German GP would put a rather diferent complexion on the standings table. – but it is a big ask.

    1. Cos says:

      I do hope Merc can catch the Red Bulls, but past performances, and to be honest thats all I can go on, point to the contrary.

      Whilst Merc make quantitive improvements at every race the other teams won’t be sitting idly by, they too will be improving. I also think you don’t need to give Hamilton a car with the appropriate setup for him to deliver the goods…he, along with a only a handfull of other current F1 drivers, can adjust their driving style to the extent that even if the set-up isnt that great, can still put the car in positions on the grid it really shouldn’t be….the problem, as always, is that on race day (when it matters) the tyres will show up the Merc….I hope I’m proved wrong as I’d love for a Merc one/two with Lewis on the top step.

      1. Richard says:

        Yes Lewis can wring performance out of a car, but unfortunately now the set up and balance has to be carefully determined to bring the tyres into their operating window, without that no top driver is able to get the performance out of the car. Now it is all so tyre dependant which really has ruined F1. If we had been on Bridgestones Mercedes would most probably have been leading the championship as degradation would not have been an issue.

  23. Thanks, James! Your report is sincerely appreciated – as is the “live” Web Timing posted by SPEED Channel. Now that we have the NBC “coverage” of F-1 here in the Colonies, this morning’s quali session will not be shown until 11:a.m. on the West Coast and, preumably 2:00 or maybe 3:00 p.m. on the East Coast. NBC has chosen to place F-1 behind a repeat (already!) session of Stage 1 for a bicycle race. While no disrespect is intended to those who appreciate that form of competition, those of us who favor another form of competition are not at all impressed with the lack of choice in the matter of viewing a live feed.

    The bright side, however, is that we can recieve your reports and we now have the whole Saturday to do other things — no need to watch NBC at all because that’s old news already this morning. Wish Bernie and Company (FOM) had thought a bit more about having live coverage available for fans instead of merely the money they get from a “big box” network that downgrades the presentation.

    The bottom line is that the fans loose and gains in the fan base are unlikely, too, because people have better things to do on Saturday and Sunday than watch old news programs when you have the results already available from other sources. Very sad for fans.

    1. Greg (Aus) says:

      Hi Garrett,

      I was raging the same as you this morning until I realised you can actually live stream qualifying via NBC Sports Extra on your PC. You just need your cable subscriber details to activate it and you’re away.

      Even better, the stream I watched this morning was the clean F1 international feed – no pesky Leigh Diffey, Steve or David, and no ads.

      Cheers,

      Greg

      1. Greg (Aus) says:

        Sorry forgot to add, it will be streaming the race as well.

        Cheers,

        Greg

      2. My thanks to both ‘Greg(Aus)’ and ‘Mhilgtx’ for their pointers. FWIW, NBCSports, in their infinite wisdom, messed things up today even worse here on the West Coast. Decided to watch the BGP at the “scheduled” time of 8:30 a.m. and forgo both the Speed Timing feed and JA articles because that was early enough (so I thought). Well, the bicycle race commentary continued on well past the 8:30 end time with a rehash of the (already completed Stage 2).

        BUT to add insuslt, while waiting for the BGP to start they broke in to blab the BGP results and then went back to the rehash prattle for another 10 minutes. Really ruined the event for this race fan! Thanks FOM!!!

    2. Mhilgtx says:

      I hope it isn’t too late for you to get this message but the race is going to shown live in the morning uncia CNBC think it comes on at 6:30 am

      1. Thanks much — see my note on Greg’s comments above.

  24. Brace says:

    This is bull excrement! Pirelli going conservative mid season is tilting the tables and giving the advantage to Red Bull and Mercedes. Why isn’t there Hard-Soft combination instead of Hard-Medium? This total crap!

    1. Craig D says:

      Pirelli can’t win I guess! While them going conservative is not deniable, we can’t really have races where the tyres were too soft and like cheese! As before, it’s the teams job to have the best car suitable for the conditions.

      I suppose them doing this (if making conservative choices does mean the tyres easily last) it will be a good back to back test of the quality of races from earlier in the season to going forward.

    2. f1future says:

      It is the same for everyone, Teams shall change their cars to fit the tyres.

    3. David C says:

      On what basis are you suggesting hard-soft, the tyres this year are completely different to last years so just choosing last years choice is not an option for Pirelli. They have the data and must make the choice they believe will deliver a 2 or 3 stop race

  25. Tom in adelaide says:

    Meanwhile back at the McLaren factory, all resources have been diverted to buikding a time machine….

  26. Lai Lai says:

    Ferrari are a mess, need a major revamp. Time for Alonso to consider doing a Webber?? The World and the Title are Vettel’s..The Championship is over. Vettel reigns supreme, no-one can touch him.

    1. dean cassady says:

      this is formula one, any thing can happen, and usually does.

  27. Michael S says:

    Lotus and Ferrari simply have to live with bad qualies when the tires allocated are this hard. The good news is they are both very fast in race trim. The bad news is they have to get through a lot of cars before they can be up with the leaders. By then Seb and Webbo will be long gone. Pirelli should have stuck to their guns and not changed the tires to help Merc and RB so much.

    1. Nigel says:

      Why are they behind the Force India then ?
      (A car which managed 56 laps one set at the Canadian GP.)

      1. Elie says:

        High speed horsepower circuit is it no wonder the other Mercedes powered car locked out the front row.

      2. stig neumann says:

        Agree! James, How Force India is strong in Q3 AND kind to its tyres? Very interesting….

    2. Afonso Ronda says:

      Pirelli hasn’t changed the tyres mate. They (also as Bridgestone previously) make tyre allocations in sets of races. Same tyres for everyone.

      I am a Ferrari fan, and never in my widest dreams I expected them to struggle as they did today. They claim cold track (@ 28 degrees??). Anyway, race is tomorrow, and I hope balance and drive-ability is improved.

    3. Grant says:

      When did Ferrari become dependent on soft tyres?

  28. Carlos Marques says:

    I agree with many who say Pirelli is deciding who wins. The teams should be able to tell Pirelli ahead of time which options they want for each race. Maybe they should do this at the start of the season to enable Pirelli to build and deliver the tires on time. Changes to their options would incur a penalty, similar to a gearbox swap, and would have to be approved by Pirelli (who may not have enough tires on hand). Just an idea FIA…

    1. Sri says:

      Brilliant idea. I fully support it as that will take away all this tyre nonsense that has palgued this season.

  29. Hansb says:

    So another win for Vettel on the way. Alonso in 10th is without a chance. Räikkönen neither from 9th.
    Championship over and out.
    2 bad runs from Ferrari and special thanks to Pirelli for conservative tyre choice.

  30. cometeF1 says:

    A magical lap it was. The gap to NR and SV is very impressive. I am starting to think that Lotus & Ferrari have lost the plot. If Mercedes still is, and only is, “The one lap wonder.” Vettel seems to be left with little competition for the WDC to wit. l am partial to SV but l would much prefer to see him fight for it till the later part of the season. Marc

  31. Craig D says:

    Excellent pole! :) Can pray for more the same tomorrow but all indications point to a Vettel win with Mercedes slipping back as normal, especially with hotter weather.

    Lewis on pole will do no harm for race day tickets too, so the organisers (and Bernie) must be happy!

  32. Paige says:

    Something tells me that Hamilton just may have a shot at winning the race tomorrow. Sure, Merc have had the fastest car in qualifying in the last 6 races, but the margin of their pole win to the next fastest car was .336 seconds in Spain. Hamilton beat Vettel by .604 seconds today, nearly doubling that margin. I don’t care much Merc’s tires degrade relative to Red Bull’s: a six-tenth margin in qualifying, even in the hands of just one driver, is a six-tenths margin. At the very least, Hamilton has a chance to make it very difficult for Vettel to win- especially if he keeps the lead on the start and Rosberg stays ahead of Vettel.

    1. Paige says:

      And I should note that that margin in Spain was their biggest margin of qualifying advantage of the year before Britain.

      1. Martin says:

        Taking the best sector times of the Mercedes cars and the best of the Red Bulls you get a gap of 0.322. Since Hamilton did this on one lap, it could be argued that unlike Barcelona there wasn’t an issue with making the tyres lasting one qualifying lap, but that is speculative, and it could be that the drivers were still having to manage the lap carefully.

        That aside, every race is different, and unlike Spain, the Lotus and Ferrari are separated from the front. Mercedes have prioritised the hard as the preferred race tyre, not using it in qualifying. Although Pirelli have tried to design the tyres so that some will want to run on the hard and others on the soft, in 2012 and 2013 it has basically failed at this and every team has generally found the prime tyre to be the better tyre to use in the race. Some teams just look after those tyres better.

        At this race, some teams look as though they may want to race primarily on the medium, but that isn’t very clear. By focussing on the Prime and the forecast warmer weather, this could be to Mercedes’ advantage.

        The recent Red Bull starts and Vettel’s general attitude and aptitude with passing to me suggests that Rosberg will do well to stay ahead in the early laps. The low speed traction for the Red Bull to me suggests that a pass into Brooklands is easily on the cards.

        Martin Brundle mentioned that Ross Brawn had told him several changes had been made to the cars to improve the resistance to tyre degradation. That may be true, but the practice times weren’t great.

        What should be of great benefit to the Mercedes is that when they come out of the pits they should have a lot a extra performance to clear any cars on a different strategy really easily.

    2. giorgio says:

      don’t forget LH was by 1 sec off from SV’s peace in the last race, so.. I think it’s very tough for LH to keep place, that’s way ‘ll be very fascinating 1st half of racing ;)

  33. Grant says:

    Looking GOOOD Lewi…..

  34. Glennb says:

    Congrats to Lewis and fans. Awesome lap, well done.

    I believe Lotus were found to have an illegal front suspension?
    Does this make them cheats?
    Just curious.

    1. Jake says:

      CH said it was ok to race this weekend and change it for the next race so expect a visit to the tribunal and a month of armchair experts telling us how much they gained from the secret illegal suspension. :-0

      1. Jake says:

        CW that should be.

      2. Glennb says:

        As long as Christian Horner said it was OK then it must be ;)

    2. Quade says:

      They are allowed to race it today, but must change it for Germany.

  35. Paul D says:

    Ferrari started 2012 with an awful car and developed it well during the year to almost take the title.

    They started on the front foot this year with a decent package, but they’ve gone backwards.

    Frustrating – when will management start to become accountable?

    1. quattro says:

      I think you are giving Ferrari too much credit for 2012. Ferrari did, in 2012, start AND END the season way behind both RedBull and Mclaren. I think one lap pace was 7-8 tenths towards the end of the season if I recall correctly.

  36. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Was Ron Dennis watching the qualify today?

    1. Grant H says:

      Ha ha I hope he was, sure ham could have dragged that poor maclaren further up the grid

    2. Richard says:

      I don’t know but I bet he has his head in his hands. McLaren need a good shake up. Right now the place to be is Mercedes or at least Paddy Lowe thinks so!

  37. Lee says:

    It is clear that Merc has the fastest car in the field, albeit one that eats tyres. All this it is quick in quali because it warms it’s tyres quicker is rubbish. The implication of that is that all the other cars in the field are qualifying on sub optimal tyre temps which is rubbish. The facts are its a very fast car. If they can sort out the tyre deg issue without impacting too much on raw pace then they’re onto a winner, quite literally.

    1. Richard says:

      Well the truth is that it is a fast car and heating up the tyres quickly is only one of a number of elements that go together to make it a good qualifying car, but they put too much energy through those rear tyres, heat them up until they exceed the maximum temperature in their operating range. For the race I think they will do most of it on the hard tyre, and that coupled with the improvements they have made may be enough to fend of Vettel, and Webber, but it will be difficult.

    2. Paige says:

      Absolutely agree.

      In my book, the definition of the fastest car is the one that can do one lap the fastest. It’s clear that they have a tenth over Red Bull, at least: they were beating Red Bull consistently by .1-.2 tenths during that run of four poles in a row, and Rosberg got Vettel again by that margin before Lewis Hamilton turned in one of those Lewis Hamilton laps (which we’ve been waiting to see from him all year). But with the new Pirellis, having the fastest car imply top performance in the races because more compromises must be made to preserve the tires.

      I think it’s telling that they as a team turned in their best qualifying performance on a track with the fastest corners in F1 on the racing calendar to date. They clearly have a car that is generating tons of downforce. But fast cars that generate lots of downforce and don’t have an optimized mechanical balance eat tires. The driver can attack corners really aggressively and it will stick, even if they’re loading the tires like crazy and he is correcting for tiny slides. That’s just the way it goes. I’m thinking they need to fix something with their mechanical balance to keep the car settled, which will help tire deg even if maybe they need to compromise some of their areo advantage to achieve this.

  38. Thread the Needle says:

    Riccardo’s doing a good job of trying to get the Red Bull seat, Marko will be pushing for him too

    Great job by Hamilton, going to be hard for him to take the win with these tyres

    It’s going to be hard for Alonso, but you can never discount him, plus the season is still long

    1. Martin says:

      It was a good turn around for him compared to the last two races. Here his times seemed to be a run ahead of Vergne’s in Q1 and Q2. Vergne’s error will bring back memories of last year when he regularly fell at Q1 due an error at one corner. Dan does need to make the race count, looking after the tyres in all the stints.

  39. dean cassady says:

    No, Mercedes didn’t gain any advantage during their illegal three day, 1000+km, per contemporary car with their current race drivers; missing out on the young drivers test will really hurt them badly.
    This season is blighted.

  40. Phil Glass says:

    James, may I make this plea here that you consider fronting the BBC tv coverage? or at least, being part of it?
    That would be a boost for fans who surely feel they are short changed by both tv channels.
    I speak as a refugee from Sky on this occassion. It was 36 minutes into the show before the excellent Garry Anderson had a spot, apart from 90 seconds with Horner. That’s a long wait.
    Sorry to gripe BBC.

    1. James Allen says:

      Very happy where I am thanks!

      1. Anne says:

        James, sorry off topic. Could you write an article at some point during the week about Matt Morris? He will join McLaren next year I guess. And this news didn´t make big waves. I can only speak for myself here. I don´t know much about him, only that he is at Sauber.

  41. Andrew Carter says:

    Reading through this message board, I’m getting well and truly fed up with the conspiracy theorists. Silvertsone has always had the harder tyre choices because it’s a damn fast track with high loads, just like Barcelona were Ferrari dominated.

    Time for people to put their tin foil hats away.

  42. Andrew M says:

    It’s disgraceful that Pirelli are manipulating the championship in favour of Red Bull and Mercedes. They should be manipulating it in favour of Ferrari and Lotus.

    1. on the spot says:

      Why.

    2. Sri says:

      Funny. LOL :)

    3. Richard says:

      Why !? I think they are merely being cautious because of the tyre issues they have had. The teams would not allow them to change them to sort out the issues which bordered on being dangerous so they have done the next best thing. It is also true that the tyres are softer this year as compared to last.

  43. Kingszito says:

    I thought Ferrari and Lotus said that Perreli’s tyre’s for this season were good! No team is being helped here. The tyres are the same for every team like it has always been. Ferrari won on the same tyre allocation in Barcelona, and could have challenged RBR in Bahrain for the win if not for the DRS failure on Alonso’s car.

  44. Frank says:

    Ferrari has the tyre advantage, not RBR or MER.

    Alonso won in a superior way after their secret desert test… with hard/medium in Barcelona and Felipe was on P3. The same compound as in Silverstone now!

    In Canada Alonso only could attack with the medium compound, after he got ride of the soft tires.

    So stop crzing and blaming Pirelli or RBR or Mercedes. It is an advantage for Ferrari and nothing else.

  45. ShaBooPi says:

    James, who gave the recent story about Ferrari hoping to improve qualifying at this race? I wonder if you could pass a small message from a Ferrari fan back. At the next race when Ferrari release a story about how they are going to try and improve qualifying, just smile brightly and say “That’s amazing! I never heard that before!”. Limping glue anyone?

  46. Truth or Lies says:

    Hamilton did ok in qualifying though I am certain that 1,000 km of testing helped a lot. So from that perspective as we no longer have a level playing field in Formula One 2013, I am reserving judgement on the quality of the entire Mercedes performance.

    Qualifying penalty especially hard for Paul Di Resta, but unless your Mercedes the rules are the rules.

    Ferrari on the other hand are now going backwards with both determination and speed!

    Given that the gap between the drivers today was most likely down to Felipe’s limited running both yesterday and in FP3, then the drivers are once again pretty equal. Which means Ferrari have fallen from row 2/3 capability back to row 5/6 in just a few races since Barcelona where both drivers were on the podium.

    It also means Fernando’s championship chances, not to mention the constructors championship are beginning to slip away and Vettel’s grasp on his fourth title is ever tighter, especially as Lotus is also losing steam in the midseason development race.

    1. Quade says:

      Lol!
      Hamilton only did ok in quali? Haha! Do you realise he broke the Silverstone record yesterday?
      His quali was record breaking, bloody absolute!

  47. Anne says:

    Well seems Di Resta needs to feed his car. It´s underweight and there is a big penalty for him.

    1. Phil Glass says:

      They have emails from Charlie agreeing to them underfuelling their cars. There might be a small penalty though…. No sugar in the coffee for half a day.

    2. Grant H says:

      Shame really, hope he get a more competitive drive next year, replace massa at Ferrari hope so

    3. ozherb says:

      Question for James Allen,

      We are talking a very fine margin (which is what F1 is all about), however complying with such a fundamental spec shouldn’t be too challenging for any team.

      As the 642kg min weight is for the car without fuel, any word as to how it came in 1.5kgs under? Was it from new components, too little ballast etc.

      Surely the reward (of saving 1.5 kgs) far outweighs the risk.

      1. James Allen says:

        It is very rare nowadays for a team to make this mistake

        I’ll find out how but it will be through not checking at start of quali

      2. Quade says:

        They say the scales might be wonky.

    4. Martin says:

      Hi Anne,

      It seems that is was di Resta not feeding himself as his own weight dropped 1.5 kg over the weekend. It will be interesting to see what sort of comment he makes about it given his criticism of the team in Monaco and Canada.

      1. KRB says:

        Serious?! If that’s true, that’s laughable! Wouldn’t they have checked again, and added more ballast? Or stuffed a few cheeseburgers in Paul’s mouth?!

  48. Bumpkin says:

    Hats off to Danny Ricciardo.

    I think he will have won over quite a few new folk this weekend.

    1. Grant H says:

      And he may have won a RBR seat too

    2. Greg (Aus) says:

      Dan has been performing well against JEV this season. All he needs is a bit of luck, and not being sabotaged by JEV’s countryman ;-)

      Cheers,

      Greg

      1. Bumpkin says:

        Fingers crossed for him in the race today & with the race for the Red Bull seat. Great he is moving up to 5th place on the grid. Hot weather here today so should help.

        Being a Brit, great to see Lewis on pole, would be great ending for Webber to get a podium today.

    3. Tom says:

      Concurred. Dan seems like a really quality guy and I think he actually has quite a bit of speed to show.

      His performances over the last two years have been more consistent than JEV, however JEV has more points this year.

      I really hope Dan gets a seat at RBR but I think anyone who says they know who it’s going to be is kidding themselves.

    4. David C says:

      I wonder if Renault will lean on Red Bull to take JEV over DR if they are performing similarly

  49. absolude says:

    Great session.
    Even as a fan of Kimi can’t blame Pirelli for not bringing the Tires-that-can’t-be-raced-on.
    Hope for a real battle at the top!

  50. "Martin" says:

    Alas poor Di Resta !
    (In case you haven’t herd, he was sent to the back of the grid as his car was 1.5kg underweight….Force India let him down again!)

    I recon he is the best up and coming driver out there. If I was in Horner’s shoes I would get the cheque book out and get and option on him, in case Kimi decides to stick with Lotus.
    And Lopez should do the same in case Kimi does take the Red Bull shilling (millions of..;-)
    Regards,
    “Martin”
    one time F3 driver

    1. KRB says:

      Can’t remember when I last heard about an exclusion b/c of being underweight. I almost suspect internal sabatoge, b/c of Di Resta’s rantings these past few events.

  51. Grant H says:

    Everyone on here who thinks testing helped merc get the pole, get a life, the merc had been superior on single lap to every other car on the grid, testing has nothing to do with it

  52. Eduan says:

    I keep on wondering what Schumacher would have done in this years Merc… Well done Lewis! Watchout for Kimi tomorrow he is going to come through the field

  53. A=F/M says:

    Modern F1 cars can be set up at for qualifying or for race pace. Usually a balance is struck to get at the best of both. Red Bull have mastered this art.

    Now, both Mercedes and Ferrari set up their cars with bias at opposing ends of this spectrum for different reasons. Ferrari choose race pace hoping to give Alonso the edge over other cars and make his way through the first 4/5/6 cars. In doing so they sacrifice some grid positions. However, Mercedes have a high degradation problem for their rear tyres, and are trying to fix it. In the meantime they feel content in garnering pole positions and hence set up their cars for qualification results.

    I really truly hope Hamilton pulls the win off, but his car is set up for pole position and not the chequered flag.

    1. Quade says:

      The claim that F1 cars can be set up for quali or race pace is proper nonsense.
      They are set up to optimise tyre wear. If a cars design is missing a trick in tyre wear, then it can’t be helped.

      1. A=F/M says:

        In your case my friend, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

        Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane describes their 2013 car:

        “I wouldn’t go as far as to say our qualifying pace is perfect as it’s clear there are still gains to be made, but we’ve certainly made significant inroads into understanding how to get the most out of tyres over single lap, in addition to balancing setup for both qualifying and race pace,”

      2. Quade says:

        Haha! What do you think Alan Permane means by:

        “understanding how to get the most out of TYRES over single lap, in addition to balancing setup for both qualifying and race pace,”

        Its tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres!

        Read what I said again. The cars are set up to use TYRES to the max for quali and to conserve TYRES during the race; your quote from Alan Permane perfectly backs up what I said earlier.

        There is a gap in the way a lot of people understand quali and race pace, so they make formulaic arguments that are quite illogical.

        I will go so far to say that a driver can do (or even surpass) quali times on race day, so far as they are:

        1. on brand new TYRES,
        2. in attack mode, running on full engine revs,
        3. carrying a light fuel load (say, around last lap).

      3. A=F/M says:

        My friend of limited knowledge, I have never disputed the tyre degradation issue is a set up factor. But then why do you keep denying that F1 cars’ set up can be polarised between qualification and the race? Don’t be flippant with the facts, do your own research and you will see I am right.

        Excerpt from Jonathan Noble’s Eurosport piece (26.04.13):

        Ferrari’s deputy chief designer Simone Resta thinks that it needs to do much better on Saturdays, especially because it is becoming increasingly clear that starting near the front gives drivers a better opportunity to run in clear air and look after their tyres.
        “This year I think we have shown a reasonable race pace, and we closed the gap in qualifying [compared to 2012], but we still need to work on that – and it is a priority for us,” said Resta, when asked by AUTOSPORT if qualifying form still matters with the new higher degrading tyres.

        “I think learning the tyres and also how to treat them is an important factor in that – and concentrating your set-up more to qualifying or more to the race is another factor.

        “But I think for us, it is a priority to try and recover performance in qualifying.”

  54. roberto marquez says:

    I would like to see a serious comment ,by somebody wiht knowledge on design of Formula cars, to help me , and others ,understand why some scuderias go back and forward from one race to another. If engines are similar how much difference there is in their outputs ? If weight has to be in an interval, also what differences are there ? And if all this,lets call them “mechanical” components are very close ,then is “aerodynamics”the sepparating factor ? If this is the conclusion ,there is no way smaller companies will ever be competitive,and more and more this sport will be won on drawing palets and laptops rather than in the circuits. To me that would be a sad end to this great sport ,where drivers always made a BIG difference.

    1. Hendo says:

      Great question. One factor is that the difference in speed between the cars is now so slight – for instance compare quali today with the British GP back in 1993
      the gap between HAM on pole & ALO in tenth is 1.372 seconds.
      But 20 years ago the gap between Pole Prost/Williams and 2nd Hill/Williams was 0.128
      The gap from Hill to 3rd MSC/Benetton was 1.267
      The gap from MSC to 4th Senna/McL was 1.585
      The slowest car was Alboreto in a Lola 7 1/2 secs behind pole. ( his time by the way was 1:26.520 – over 3 secs faster than HAM’s effort!)

      So due to the ‘control formula’ of many factors in the current regs, the difference between teams and between drivers is minuscule – hence sensitivity to tyre temps makes a big jump between cars – the slightest Aero tweak can put you on pole or drop you back to 10th.
      All the waffle on this site about Ham is better than Vet is better than Alo is pretty much rubbish because all these guys are so close that on a given day on a given corner, the slightest miscue can drop you back several positions.
      And frankly I think F1 is better off for it.

      1. KRB says:

        Different track layout back then of course, so the comparison in lap times (this year’s to yesteryear’s) can’t be made.

        The track was 5.226 kms long in 1993; it’s 5.901 kms now.

        The spread between the cars is very thin now … it was probably at its thinnest last year, at least for a long while. The spread should be greater next year, and likely the widest in at least a decade.

    2. stig neumann says:

      James should write about this, why cant Ferrari hire some good People from a team that is strong in Q3, is it so bad to work at Marinello!?!

  55. Torchwood Five says:

    I have not really given credence to teams and drivers’ claims about coming second being that bad, or the worst thing, but looking at comments on here, hardly any mention of Rosberg’s achievement, or even just his name, compared to the amount of times most others in the top ten qualifiers get a mention.

    BBC, if you are reading this, too late for this year, but for the British Grand Prix next year, and maybe beyond, how about seeing if you can attract Jake Humphreys back to work alongside EJ and DC for the one weekend. Those viewers who enjoyed the trio get a treat, and Jake doesn’t have to travel anywhere.

    Suzi Perry was great on the Gadget Show, but I am afraid she isn’t doing it for me on F1, compared to her Sky counterparts, plus Eddie Jordan doesn’t seem to be around much either.

  56. Mhilgtx says:

    Congrats to Lewis for producing under pressure.

    Nico Ross Braun deserve some appreciation as well.

    After Barcelona all I heard from Ferarri fans was what a superior job they had done setting their car up for the tires. Now all I read is that Pirelli is favoring Merc buy using the same tire compounds used in Barcelona where Ferrari won.

    In other news Paul Hembry in a rare incident of clarity said one of the things Pirreli is asking for in new contract is tire decisions to only require a majority of teams for approval.

  57. Justin Case says:

    Hope all u fans who said the racing was false and boring early in the year really get stuck into tonight’s snoozefest………harder tyres are great for f1…..Merc and Red Bull in the top 4…who they favouring now???? Enjoy tonight’s boring gp

  58. Robert N says:

    James,

    here is an interesting question for you: If RBR were to setup their car for fastest one lap quali performance, would they be able to beat Mercedes to pole? (What is the feeling among engineers?)

    At the start of the season it appeared that RBR were head and shoulders above the rest (I remember sessions in Australia were Vettel was 1 second faster than anyone else.) It was my impression that over the course of the season RBR compromised their car so that they can enjoy longer tyre life in the race. Is that correct?

  59. Robert N says:

    James,

    how come ForceIndia were so strong in qualifying when Ferrari struggled so massively. Before Silverstone it seemed that Ferrari/Lotus/ForceIndia were similar in the way they treat the tyres, so if the tyres/temperatures are to blame for Ferrari’s troubles, then how come ForceIndia were so strong?

  60. Hiten says:

    Enjoy the Pirreli tyres!!!

  61. James AWOL says:

    Yeah – That tyre choice by Pirreli is really favouring Merc!!!

  62. David Selway-Hoskins says:

    Watching Silverstone it is clear that some tyre changes must be made. It is quite unreasonable to ask Pirelli to develop tyres without in-season testing and without a current F1 tyre test car – the rules must change to allow someone to provide a current car with a top driver

  63. aveli says:

    i suspect pirelli changed the tyres without telling anyone.
    in the past, the tyres failed a left behind a steel belt which kept the tyre inflated albeit without rubber. in all of the tyre failures at silverstone, the metal band was missing. the teams voted against a new construction without that metal band but it looks like pirelli ignored that democratic process and went for a dictatorship.

    1. James Allen says:

      Who says the steel was missing?

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