Hamilton takes Silverstone pole position in front of the home crowd

Lewis Hamilton British Grand Prix 2013

Lewis Hamilton achieved his 28th career pole position at his home race with a margin over his Mercedes team-mate of four tenths of a second.

The 2008 world champion overcame the challenge from Nico Rosberg to take the top spot at Silverstone, as the Silver Arrows once again made qualifying their own.

The first flying lap of one minute, 30.096 seconds set early in Q3 gave Hamilton the initial advantage by a tenth and a half.

Rosberg managed to beat that with a one minute, 30.059 seconds on his second run, but Hamilton was already responding with an ever quicker lap.

Hamilton came through in the final moments of Q3 with one minute, 29.607 seconds lap, taking pole position in front of his home crowd. This was his first at Silverstone since 2007.

Red Bull Racing was the only rival to Mercedes, but Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber had to be content with the second row. The pair were just only 0.009 seconds apart.

Paul di Resta also impressed with fifth for Force India. Two British drivers in the top six will give the home supporters to cheer.

His team-mate Adrian Sutil was up in seventh, behind the sensational Daniel Ricciardo, while second Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne was way back in P13.

Ferrari struggled badly with a lack of pace at Silverstone. Fernando Alonso was only tenth fastest, beaten by the Lotus pair as well as the others. Felipe Massa also failed to get of Q2 and will start in P12.

Despite predicting on Friday that Q3 would be impossible for McLaren, a mighty late-Q2 lap from Jenson Button almost got him into the top ten.

Unfortunately for the Woking-based team, Raikkonen squeezed ahead by 0.057 seconds, leaving Button P11. His team-mate Sergio Perez was fourth tenths and three positions further back.

One race on from his incredible Montreal qualifying result, it was back to reality for Valtteri Bottas. He was eliminated in Q1 and will start one place behind Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado in P17.

Sauber’s year continued in the same disappointing form too, with Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez P15 and P18.

Max Chilton was troubled to end up slowest in his first Formula 1 qualifying session at home, especially with Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi 1.7 seconds faster.

But Chilton will not start last as Giedo van der Garde will drop back due to his penalty for tangling with Mark Webber in Montreal.

So a Silver Arrows front row at Silverstone with the crowd favourite on pole position. Can Lewis Hamilton achieve his first win of the year, in front of the passionate crowd? That would be a dream result for the 2008 world champion if he can repeat his impressive pace in the race.

Qualifying positions for the British Grand Prix:

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

107 per cent time: 1m37.364s

8 thoughts to “Hamilton takes Silverstone pole position in front of the home crowd”

  1. Despite taking his 28th career pole position at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton believes Sebastian Vettel will be quicker in the race. Autosport.com has the details.

    Lewis Hamilton believes it will be difficult to keep the Red Bulls behind in the British Grand Prix despite taking a commanding pole position on Saturday.

    Hamilton grabbed his second pole of the 2013 season after beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by nearly half a second.

    Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will start third and fourth.

    But with Mercedes’ car known for its issues with tyre degradation, Hamilton is under no illusions for the race.

    “I think it is going to be tough to keep Seb behind,” said Hamilton.

    “But our long-run pace is not as bad as we have seen in the past so I am hoping with a bit of care we can nurture the tyres to get a good result. I will be pushing as will Nico to try and be ahead.”

    Hamilton admitted he was elated after having securing his second home pole position.

    “It is incredible,” he said. “It feels just like it did in 2007. Just to see the crowd here today is fantastic.

    “I hope tomorrow we can do something for them. This is down to the team, they have done a phenomenal job. I haven’t felt 100 per cent comfortable in car all weekend so I’m happy to get a lap.”

    Rosberg agreed that Mercedes’ rivals are likely to be more competitive in the race.

    “Tomorrow should be a bit better [than before]. I am sure there will be other teams that are stronger than us,” he said.

    “Starting from front should help, and it should be possible to get a good result.”

  2. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel was left really impressed by Lewis Hamilton’s pole lap and described it as ‘phenomenal’. Autosport.com has the details.

    Sebastian Vettel described Lewis Hamilton’s British Grand Prix pole lap as a “phenomenal” effort that was out of Red Bull’s reach.

    Hamilton put his Mercedes on pole by 0.452 seconds over team-mate Nico Rosberg, with Vettel and his Red Bull partner Mark Webber a further tenth adrift on row two.

    “Either Lewis found a shortcut or he has something special around here,” said Vettel.

    “It was a phenomenal lap, not in our reach today. I had a good lap and was close with Mark. We did what we could.

    “Certainly we are not giving away anything consciously or on purpose, they are bloody quick in qualifying.

    “We are not too bad, but they are in a different world on Saturday afternoon.”

    Despite Hamilton’s belief that Red Bull is still in better shape for race day, Vettel said he was not taking a Mercedes slump for granted.

    “I think P3 was our maximum [in qualifying] but for tomorrow who knows – they are also getting better,” said Vettel. “It helps the more time we spend on the tyres – let’s leave it there…”

    Vettel’s main title rival Fernando Alonso is only 10th on the grid following a tough qualifying for Ferrari, but the champion said he was not counting the Spaniard out.

    “It is not good news for him and I’m sure he wanted to be higher up,” said Vettel. “It’s a bit of a surprise, they have been very competitive here for the last few years.

    “I’m not too interested in the results today, in the race lots of things can happen. In terms of race pace and tyre wear they will be stronger tomorrow and if everything goes to plan, they will finish higher up than 10th. Anything else will be a surprise.”

  3. McLaren’s Jenson Button has said P11 on grid was better than expected consider the pace of the car. Autosport.com has the story.

    Jenson Button said his British Grand Prix qualifying performance was much better than he expected, even though he did not get into the top 10.

    A late lap from Kimi Raikkonen edged Button down to 11th in Q2 by half a tenth of a second.

    But having been very unhappy with the McLaren’s pace on Friday, Button felt genuine progress had been made.

    “I’m higher than we expected to be this morning and yesterday,” he said.

    “It’s been very difficult. We changed a few things for qualifying, and now we’re a second slower than the quick cars not 1.5s. We gained the half a second that we hoped to.

    “We’re never happy to be P11 but if we’d been in Q3 I don’t think we would’ve gone out so we would’ve been 10th.

    “I’m much happier in qualifying than I have been for the rest of the weekend.

    “It’s not great, but it’s a little less bad. I think that’s the best way to say it.

    “I actually enjoyed driving the car out there.”

    Button now hopes that the single-lap improvements also translate into race pace.

    “Getting well into the points is something that we have to aim for,” he said.

    “I don’t know if we can do it, looking at our pace yesterday, but we have improved the car.”

    His team-mate Sergio Perez was 14th, and felt being called to the weighbridge by the officials cost him.

    “I think I struggled quite a lot with the warm-up of my tyres, because I had to stop for the FIA weighbridge and I lost a lot of tyre temperature,” he said.

    The Mexican also conceded that his car-damaging puncture in practice three had been a hindrance to qualifying.

    “It was not the best preparation you can have,” said Perez. “It’s the most important session before qualifying, so we definitely lost something there.”

  4. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso urges his struggling team not to panic despite a poor qualifying session at Silverstone. Autosport.com has the news story.

    Fernando Alonso says Ferrari must remain calm and try to find solutions for its problems after struggling in qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

    The Spanish driver will start the race from 10th position after his car proved too slow to fight for a better position. Alonso finished over 1.3 seconds off pole position.

    Team-mate Felipe Massa completed a poor day for Ferrari with 12th place on the grid.

    Alonso conceded Ferrari needs to find more pace.

    “It’s almost the first time I remember that one of us is out of Q3 and the other is 10th,” said Alonso. “We have to improve.

    “We have to stay calm more than ever now things are not going well, just like when things are going well we don’t have to get over-excited.”

    Alonso admitted his main target for the race was to gather an many points as possible, a goal he labelled as ‘sad’.

    “We’ll try to get as many points as possible,” he said. “It’s a realistic goal, probably a sad goal, but we need to try to get as many points as possible.

    “We have been doing poorly so far, but maybe tomorrow it will be better.”

    Massa also admitted Ferrari had gone backwards since the previous race.

    “I think the car is not working like before,” said Massa. “In Montreal the car was quick in the race, and even in qualifying the pace was better than what we have here.

    “It was definitely more competitive there, so that’s the biggest worry. I hope everything changes tomorrow and we see a competitive car in the race.”

  5. Red Bull’s Mark Webber doubts the pace of the Mercedes will not fade in the race following a strong qualifying session at Silverstone. Autosport.com has the news story.

    Mark Webber believes Mercedes is a real threat for victory in the British Grand Prix, despite the team playing down its chances after securing a commanding pole.

    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg secured a front-row lockout for Mercedes, the Briton finishing over half a second quicker than Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Webber.

    The Mercedes duo said it would be hard to keep Red Bull behind given its tyre struggles in the race.

    Webber, however, said he was not convinced by Mercedes’ apparent worries.

    “Not really,” said Webber when asked if he expected Mercedes to fade away in the race. “Lewis was pretty sensible in Montreal. The last time they raced on this type of circuit was Barcelona, and they got lapped. That is not going to happen.

    “I think they did pretty well at that test, to be fair. They have moved the bar up for themselves a big chunk on Sundays – anyway… that is the way it went.

    “We are not expecting them to be too slow tomorrow. They will be OK, but we will put pressure on them at the stops and through the stints themselves.”

    Webber, who was less than two tenths off second place, believes he could have set a better time had his lap been cleaner.

    “I would have liked to have a better finish to the lap. There was a better time there, but I think Nico would have been difficult to get,” he said.

    The Australia is nonetheless confident of a strong performance in the race.

    “The car is going pretty well here,” he said. “I think we have a good balance – not car balance, but balance between qualifying and race, as we will find out tomorrow.”

  6. This was an impressive qualifying performance by Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso. Sixth quickest and yet this won’t play an outcome on a possible seat at the leading Red Bull team following the news that Mark Webber is quitting Formula 1 at the end of this season. Autosport.com has the details.

    Daniel Ricciardo does not believe qualifying sixth for the British Grand Prix will make a significant difference to his chances of landing a Red Bull seat.

    The Australian is on Red Bull’s shortlist to replace Porsche-bound Mark Webber, along with Scuderia Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne and Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen.

    While he is sure that his qualifying performance will have been noticed, he insists that a strong race result will be more important to his hopes of succeeding Webber.

    “Obviously it doesn’t hurt, but I’ve got to back it up tomorrow,” said Ricciardo, moments after being congratulated on his performance by Webber.

    “It’s good, it shows that when we get the car right and we get things going well we can be quick, so it’s nice to confirm the speed I know I have.”

    This is Ricciardo’s best qualifying performance of the 2013 season, matching his career-best performance in Bahrain last year.

    While he accepts the Toro Rosso has been strong around Silverstone all weekend, he suspects that changes in approach on his side of the garage since the Canadian GP have also contributed.

    “Since Canada, I spent a bit of time with my guys on my side of the garage,” he said. “We had to re-assess a few things.

    “Things went well [here] but I think we’ve taken a little bit of a different approach, not throwing things at the car and just hoping for the best.

    “If we feel it’s going to help, we do it otherwise let’s just see what happens, let’s not chase our tails.

    “Whether that’s the answer for this weekend, I don’t know. I think it’s a combination.”

    Team-mate Vergne qualified only 13th after failing to make the cut for Q3, the fifth time he has been beaten by Ricciardo on Saturday in eight weekends this year.

    But the Frenchman did look on course to make the top 10 shootout before running off the track during Q3.

    He did improve his time on his second flying lap of that run, but his Pirellis were past their best and he had some floor damage.

    “I got some [turbulence] off Vettel and I just lost the downforce and went straight onto the grass, hitting the large kerb,” said Vergne.

    “Q3 was easily reachable, I was doing the same time as Daniel at that moment. It’s a big shame.”

  7. Paul di Resta’s career best qualifying performance at the British Grand Prix is under threat after his car was found to be underweight in post-qualifying checks at Silverstone.

    The Force India driver had secured fifth on the grid on home soil, but now looks set to lose it after the stewards found his car to be below the minimum 642kg weight.

    A report by the stewards revealed that di Resta’s car weighed 641.5kg at scrutineering, which is 0.5kg below the minimum weight required for the car.

    The car was reweighed without fuel on board and weighed just 640kg, 2kg below the minimum weight limit.

    A calibration check of the scales used by the FIA showed they weighed 599.5kg when checked with 600kg of weight, which is still 1.5kg below the minimum weight limit.

    The matter has been referred to the stewards, who are likely to exclude the car from qualifying for the infringement unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    A likely penalty would be relegation to the back of the grid.

    Speaking earlier about his performance, di Resta had admitted that he was ‘shocked’ at the performance.

    “The car is obviously working well,” said di Resta. “Yesterday we were P4 and I was surprised we were there. So I’m a bit shocked we are still only one position behind that today.

    “But ultimately it’s in our window. We went a bit backwards with set up before FP3, but the guys put in a tremendous effort to get the car ready for qualifying.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  8. Following the news that Paul di Resta has been disqualified after his car being underweight, the Force India driver will start the British Grand Prix right at the back of the grid. Autosport.com has the details.

    Paul di Resta has been excluded from qualifying at the British Grand Prix after his Force India was found to be under the minimum weight.

    The Scot had secured fifth on the grid at Silverstone but his car came in 1.5kg underweight in post-qualifying scrutineering.

    Even with a mandatory fuel sample on board, the car weighed only 641.5 kg – which is 0.5 kg below the weight limit.

    After the FIA drained the car of fuel, it was found it weighed just 640kg, two kilogrammes under the limit.

    With a 0.5kg tolerance accepted for the scales’ accuracy, it was ruled that the car was 1.5kg underweight.

    After the matter was referred to the race stewards, it was decided that the team had been in breach of the regulations and di Resta was thrown out of the results.

    He can now start the British GP from the back of the grid.

    Force India is considering whether to appeal, as it is understood the missing weight relates to di Resta rather than the car. Driver and car weights are combined under Formula 1 rules.

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