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Emotional Lewis Hamilton takes British F1 GP pole by 0.04s
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Posted By: Editor   |  07 Jul 2018   |  3:36 pm GMT  |  90 comments

In one of the closest qualifying hours of the year, Briton’s Lewis Hamilton secured a record sixth British Grand Prix pole position, with the top three covered by less than one tenth of a second.

The Mercedes man was forced to fight back against championship rival Sebastian Vettel to steal pole position with his final run of qualifying, whilst Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was just 0.098 away from pole, but was forced to settle for third.

“I gave it everything that I could. It was so close between these Ferraris, they were able to pull something out when we got to Q3 and I was just praying that I could do it,” said Hamilton.

“I’m so grateful for the support, without you guys [the fans] I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Vettel, who was suffering from neck problems after free practice three, said that he wasn’t sure he would be participating in the qualifying hour.

“To be honest, no, I wasn’t sure I could do qually. It was very close,” said Vettel.

“My last lap, I was very happy with it, but I seemed to lose a bit of time in the straights, so I think I’m missing a bit of toe, but I think it was very close.”

The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas made a mistake on his final run and could not challenge for anything higher than fourth.

The two Red Bulls and the two Haas’ performed as expected and locked out the third and fourth rows.

Qualifying session 1

Hartley’s weekend was derailed by a huge crash in free practice three. His Toro Rosso sustained a front-left suspension failure on the approach to Brooklands corner, which sent his car into a high-speed spin.

With the car bouncing over the gravel trap the car threatened to become airborne, and the car crashed at high speed into the tyre barrier.

He walked away unhurt, but his Toro Rosso wasn’t rebuilt in time for qualifying.

The second Toro Rosso belonging to Pierre Gasly underwent front suspension changes as a result, but the Frenchman managed to get out in time for qualifying.

Lance Stroll dented Williams’ hopes of a successful home grand prix by spinning out of qualifying in the first few minutes of Q1.

The Canadian lost control of his car at Brooklands and beached his car in the gravel trap, ending his day early and bringing out the red flags.

He was almost joined on the sidelines by his team-mate Sergey Sirotkin; the second Williams went off into the gravel trap at Stowe corner, but just about managed to prevent the car from getting stuck and he recovered to the pit lane.

Sirotkin’s sole completed lap was nowhere near being good enough to progress into Q2, with the Russian falling 2.6 seconds off the pace, but with two drivers already out, he finished the session in 18th.

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne was also a long way off progression, finishing seventeenth and leaving a battle between the two Renault’s to reach Q2.

Nico Hulkenberg’s final flying lap dumped his team-mate Carlos Sainz out of Q1 for the first time this season, whilst, remarkably Gasly edged through to the next session despite the car’s front-end rebuild.

Hamilton, Bottas and Raikkonen progressed to Q2 on the medium tyres, such was the confidence of Mercedes and Ferrari.

Qualifying session 2

Unlike recent races, all front-runners chose to set their Q2 times on the softest available tyre, meaning that everybody in the top ten will start the race on the soft-compound tyre.

In a somewhat anti-climatic Q2 session, very few of the midfielders improved on their second attempt.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson will probably be disappointed to finish the session in fifteenth, given team-mate Charles Leclerc progressed into the top ten.

Gasly finished just ahead of the Swede in fourteenth, whilst just missing out on Q3 were McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Force India’s Sergio Perez and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg.

Qualifying session 3

With both Mercedes and Ferrari turning their cars up to maximum power, both Hamilton and Vettel were evenly matched in all three sectors, with there being no greater difference than 0.04 of a second in any given sector.

But with two out of the three sectors going to Vettel, it was the Ferrari man who took provisional pole position by just 0.057 of a second.

The two Finns of Bottas and Raikkonen finished the opening laps in third and fourth, ahead of the two Red Bulls.

With Hamilton looking to deliver in front of his home crowd, he pulled off the best middle sector of the day to steal pole position by what would turn out to be 0.044 of a second from Vettel, his sixth pole position at Silverstone.

Raikkonen almost pulled off a surprise result; he set the fastest first and third sectors but fell one tenth short of Hamilton’s time and had to settle for third in front of Bottas.

The two Red Bulls were no contest for the front four, and Verstappen had a straightforward victory over team-mate, who was forced to run Q3 without DRS.

Another strong qualifying for Haas put Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in seventh and eighth, ahead of Leclerc and Force India’s Ocon.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Qualifying
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.892s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m25.936s 0.044s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m25.990s 0.098s
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m26.217s 0.325s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m26.602s 0.710s
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m27.099s 1.207s
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m27.244s 1.352s
8 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m27.455s 1.563s
9 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m27.879s 1.987s
10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m28.194s 2.302s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m27.901s
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m27.928s
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m28.139s
14 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m28.343s
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.391s
16 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m28.456s
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m29.096s
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m29.252s
19 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes No time
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda No time

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

Who is your tip for the win at the British Grand Prix? Leave your comments in the section below.

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1

I can say with absolute certainty that making any sort of comment with regards to the grammar,punctuation,spelling or general rules of writing the English language in this or any other article on this site to be about as rude as it’s possible to be.

Just a suggestion to all the smart arses out there…….maybe start your own website and try writing your own stuff.

2

Kimi has put his car close to Lewis’s? That Ferrari must be a rocket ship.

3

It was interesting if you watched the thier laps side by, Davidson pointed out that Vettel actually made up time down the straights, just lewis was making the difference in the corners.

Vettel saying he lost a little on the straights is a little disingenuous at best.

4

Quite possibly he meant losing time relative to its own potential, rather than relative to the Mercedes?

5

Just wondering, with a (V)SC in lap 5-10, would an early switch to the hard tyre be a viable one-stop option? James, do we have data on its long-run performance, is it a serious race tyre at all?

6

Looking at the sector times, it was KIMI’s to lose. He lost 0.2s in middle sector alone where he stood 4th overall. He had purple in first and third sectors. LEWIS pulled up the lap in middle sector. SEB was close second in all 3 sectors.

LEWIS 27.520 34.708 23.643

SEB 27.516 34.752 23.636

KIMI 27.512 34.911 23.567

7

Looking at sector times to put together a “perfect lap” is often a bit misleading, because they’re not mutually exclusive – how hard and where you push the tyres, set up choices etc can influence where you will be fast within the lap.

8

Kimi squeezed his best sectors into his final lap but sadly it was only good enough for the third spot in the grid. He didn’t look satisfied at all in the grid interview after the qualifying. But in his case happiness and disappointment look pretty much the same.

Interesting to see how the tyres will survive in the blazing heat forecasted for the race.

9

Hamilton really put his sweat and tears to do a good job at home. I think in pace I will give it to Ferrari – better treatment of tyres by the car. Hamilton can win if he looks after the tyres, Ferrari could win if Vettel avoids mistakes. In general this might be the same as Austria? Blistering everywhere in tropical Buckinghamshire.

So was Ricci’s DRS on or off? Was he having issues with it in Q3? Brundle twice said he was – I didn’t see after qualifying reports.

10

Great drive by Lewis and I must admit I thought he was gonna make a mistake as the margins were so small. We the pressure of the very mighty Ferarri, the massive home crowd and the record on the line and to pull it off? That’s hardcore right there and I don’t think he hooked that lap up as good as he could either. I stand corrected as I swore Vettel was gonna take it pole and the win but there is still the race left. This is gonna be tight!

11

Good job by Haas. They really have a legit shot of securing 4th in the team’s championship. Certainly they are in great position to hold 5th.

McLaren: Alonso is out driving the car.

Williams has a fundamentally flawed car. Snap oversteer can’t help driver confidence.

12

Autosport reports that Williams suffered from massive aerodynamic stall, possibly the interaction of the new rear wing and the floor.

13

The No. 2 drivers are very important this year.

Absolutely stunning Lap by Lewis might be pointless tomorrow, if Ferrari pincer him. Bottas made 2 mistakes today in qualifying, and that might be what determines the winner tomorrow (much like Bottas’ mistake in Australia and Kimi’s in Baku).

14
Tornillo Amarillo

Williams seems to be in the dark, it seems they were happy with the new rear wing, and boom! it’s not working with the DRS and/or the floor… and 3 seconds behind.

So slow that it seems pretty easy to fix at least something in the aero side.

But what worries me most is that they are just trying parts on track to see if they could understand anything and doing that with the fingers crossed…

Being Williams at the bottom, and after 2 years there, if I were Lance I would try to land a seat into a different team next season, like into Force India, Haas or Sauber.

Maybe even Paddy Lowe won’t last.

15

“ if I were Lance I would try to buy a seat into a different team next season,”

There, fixed it for you.

16

https://twitter.com/MercedesAMGF1/status/1015661387257909250

Two massive mistakes by Hamilton at second 17/19

and 1:23 to 1:28 minute.

And still the fastest. That is down to the car, not the driver cause you lose time.

SkyUK/F1 said it was down to Hamilton…………..

17

When Kimi is that close to Lewis’ pace, you can rest assured that Kimi’s in a better car.

18

I suspect that the Mercedes PU is head and shoulders above the rest of the field and are probably not even making the full power available to its drivers at select tracks to help Liberty by keeping the championship alive.

And Bottas is probably a lot more mediocre than we thought, which explains why Lewis has been so happy and relaxed since early last year.

19

Luke, what complete nonsense.

20

Maybe, or maybe not. Stranger things have happened in this whacky, bizarro world of ours.

21

“massive mistakes”

😂

I don’t really know why I’m bothering, but in spite of what you think the cars don’t just drive themselves and wait for drivers to make mistakes to cost them time – drivers actually have an impact on how fast the car is going as well 😮

Have a look at all Vettel’s pole laps this year and see how many “massive mistakes” he makes as well.

22

Ha ha ha, there’s always one, nice try Fedor, but I think most people will be listening to the experts rather than you!

23

Lewis Hamilton is quite rightly described as the greatest Mercedes car salesman ever.

24

Today we seen why he’s the fastest driver to grace the sport and I doubt we’ll ever see anyone faster. Bring it home Lewis!

25

Leclerc!

26

Congratulations to Lewis.

If Verstappen really said: “Maybe I’ll look at Le Mans when I’m old and slow.”

Then he is a bigger jerk than I thought.

27

Before the last race his quote was “at the end of the day I know I will always be right”. Very Trumpesque.

I thought the Le Mans quote was pretty funny though. It is true that if you’re quick and young, the top tier is F1. If you have a chance at wins and titles in F1, you won’t be doing Le Mans.

28

Either that or he has a lot more talent for comedy than we thought.

29

If Kimi has to call it a day, Leclerc is really the best possible person to follow in his seat. Its not just about the fact that he is the real deal, but the guy is way less arrogant than e.g. Verstappen and its quite possible that he will be a WC sooner than Verstappen.

30

Ricciardo confirmed that he had drs on his second run. Please check your facts

31

That lap is why Lewis Hamilton is paid so much by Mercedes and why Rosberg ran away in 2016.

32

From Horner

“…Daniel’s DRS malfunctioned during Q3, we had permission to manually override it for his final run to cross the line in P6…”

It wasn’t working properly.

33

Correct, not properly but he was able to use it in his final run. Not ideal of course, but no reason to be half a second down on your teammate.

34

Superb

A fantastically close Q3, no quarter asked or given. Lewis’ pole lap was all about his ability to extract every last ounce of potential out of his car. Never him so emotional post qualifying.

Then to cap it all we’ve made the WC semifinals!

Should be fascinating tomorrow

35

There’s that toe again! Shouldn’t that be tow? And in the same vein 0.04S in the title really should be 0.04s.

On a slightly more relevant note, I read elsewhere that Ricciardo had a working DRS on his last Q3 fast lap.

36

You missed one … Anti-climatic (Q2) … it certainly was a strangely hot day in the Old Blighty but due to nobody bettering their first time on the second run, the word I believe the author was looking for was anticlimactic.

Great to see Hamilton visibly moved by the emotion he shared with the crowd and shaken by his total commitment to an unbeatable lap. Even with his fantastic sidewards twist, catch and drift on one corner late in the lap. Spectacular!

37

He is just not a match for Max in quali. Since Monaco he’s down 4-0 and 7-3 over the season, two of which Max didn’t participate technically, Monaco and Bahrain.

38

Yes he had. It was stuck during his first Q3 run after turn 5/6. But worked like normal in his final run. He just lost out to Max in every sector a few tenths.

39

Ferrari are getting stronger. Do they have the pace for the race though? Usually VET is a couple of tenths quicker than Kimi, but not today. Whatever gave VET the trick is his neck seems to have slowed him down a shade.

Can’t believe how far off the pace the Red Bulls were. I realize RIC had a DRS deployment issue, but almost 1.2seconds off the pace is huge.

AS an aside the Red Bull drivers in the lead article are transposed.

What happened to Sainz?- WOW! LEC seems to be the real deal, another Q3 appearance.

Williams rapidly disappearing into nothing- sad really.

Think Bottas is hard done by? Spare a thought for Hartley. Is there a kick me sign on the back of his Torro Rosso or overalls?

Should be a good race of tire management tomorrow, with who ever can take best care of his tires, will likely come out on top. Given the temperatures and last weeks showing, i’d give a slight edge to Ferrari over AMG-MB.

40

Most entertaining quali in a long time. Apart from Bottas everyone seemed to have got the most out of car out of top 4. As for LEC, I’m pleased that he has been able to carry his quality from GP2 to F1. So many times we have seen top GP2 drivers can’t replicate the performance in F1. So, this is great.

Hopefully race will be just as thrilling.

41

Not 2.1 but 0.7. Understandable when you take the nature of the track into consideration. Renault still has a lot of work to do if they want to challenge for the title in the years to come… I can’t see it happening.

42

Number 44 claims pole by 0.044 seconds! One of the more thrilling sessions of the year!

43

Congratulations to Lewis… But star of qualifying has to be rookie Lecric, out performing in a modest car

44

Hard to tell how good he really is. The Sauber is a far better car then most would think and equipped with a Ferrari engine which is Mercedes level or even better. Plus beating Renault and Honda powerd cars on this track ain’t that difficult. Can’t measure him with Ericsson either cause he one of the slowest drivers in the line up.

45

What a lap that was! Brilliant stuff from Lewis, the Ferraris were very fast, but Hamilton dug deep and pulled out that bit extra to get in pole. Can he stay out front tomorrow?

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