Hamilton on British Grand Prix pole

Home crowd favourite Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth British Grand Prix pole position at Silverstone for Mercedes.

The British Grand Prix hero took the top spot early in the 12-minute Q3 session that decides the top ten on the grid with a lap of one minute, 27.231 seconds using the super-soft Pirellis that proved the tyre of choice for all.

That put Hamilton two tenths of a second ahead of world championship rival Sebastian Vettel, and on his second run he delivered a mighty lap of one minute, 26.600 seconds to provisionally seal his 67th pole position in F1 – now just one behind Michael Schumacher’s Formula 1 record.

Initially Hamilton was been investigated for a potential impeding incident at the end of his first run in Q3 when Haas driver Romain Grosjean complained of being held up by him at Club corner.

In the end, the race stewards came to the conclusion that while Hamilton had got in Grosjean’s way, he had not cost the Haas driver anything. So the qualifying results and pole position stands. Much to the relief of the racing fans.

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen jumped from fourth to second on his final lap, ending up 0.547 seconds slower than Hamilton.

Vettel struggled on the first two sectors of his final lap, meaning he ended up third and two-tenths off his team-mate.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest, with a lock-up at Turn 3 among the places he lost time on his second run, but has to serve a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

Max Verstappen was fifth quickest, with Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg sixth to earn his best starting position of the 2017 season for the Enstone-based team.

The Force India duo of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were seventh and eighth, with Stoffel Vandoorne ninth on his first appearance in Q3.

Grosjean was tenth and slowest in Q3 after first losing three tenths behind Hamilton on his first run, then only making a small improvement on his second.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer missed out on making Q3 by less than a tenth of a second, setting P11 ahead of Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.

Fernando Alonso proved unable to join McLaren team-mate Vandoorne in Q3, with his final flier half-a-second off and only good enough for P13.

Alonso will start at the back thanks to a 30-place grid penalty for new power unit components being introduced.

Despite this set back, Alonso did set the quickest time in Q1 thanks to smart thinking from McLaren to use the slicks as the track conditions improved.

Carlos Sainz was P14 ahead of the Williams of Felipe Massa.

Williams driver Lance Stroll was fastest of those to be eliminated in Q1 thanks to a last-gasp effort by Alonso to jump from last to first.

It started to rain 12 minutes before the session, leading to a flurry of drivers going out at the start of Q1 using a mix of intermediate and slick rubber before it emerged it was too damp for the latter.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who was fastest early on using intermediates, then stopped at Luffield reporting a loss of power, leading to the session being red flagged for five minutes.

The session got going again with ten minutes remaining, with Alonso running on intermediates but opting to pit with just enough time to bolt on super-softs and complete his out-lap before the chequered flag.

He managed to do that, crossing the line moment before the flag, leading to him taking top spot by 1.3 seconds and relegating Stroll into the dropzone. Alonso was one of only two drivers, alongside Ocon, to use slicks in Q1.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was P17 ahead of Sauber duo Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.

Ricciardo was quickly shuffled down the timing screens, ending up P20, but is current due to start one place higher despite his five-place grid penalty for changing a gearbox because of Alonso’s drop.

So a fantastic result for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. A popular pole position for the Silverstone crowd favourite. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel is third on the grid but the title fight is still on. Bring on the race.

Qualifying standings, Silverstone:

1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m26.600s
2    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m27.147s
3    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m27.356s
4    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m28.130s
5    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m28.856s
6    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m28.902s
7    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1m29.074s
8    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1m29.418s
9    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m29.549s
10    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    1m27.376s
11    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m30.193s
12    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m30.355s
13    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m31.368s
14    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m31.482s
15    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1m42.573s
16    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1m42.577s
17    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1m42.593s
18    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m42.633s
19    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m42.966s
20    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m30.600s

8 thoughts on “Hamilton on British Grand Prix pole

  1. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo fears he has lost engine after “big failure” during Q1 at Silverstone. Motorsport.com has the full story.

    Daniel Ricciardo fears he might have lost one of his allocated engines for the season after his British Grand Prix qualifying was ruined by a suspected turbo failure.

    Ricciardo’s Red Bull ground to a halt halfway around a lap during a rain-affected Q1, causing a red flag. Although he was P1 at the time, he slipped back to last as the track dried.

    “It sounded a little bit sick, that was the first thing, then I lost a bit of power and heard some weird turbo noises,” he said.

    “I still don’t know much about how cars work but I think I know what a turbo sounds like, and I could hear it not behaving.

    “It stayed running and then it all switched off. I thought I could nurse it back to the pits but then everything went off.

    “It’s definitely a big failure of some sort, and we couldn’t save it for the session. Obviously I don’t know how this now affects us for the rest of the season, probably losing an engine now, but maybe it’s repairable.”

    Ricciardo will start on the back row of the grid, ahead only of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and already had a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox before qualifying.

    “I thought five grid places were bad, but we’re definitely at the back now,” he said. “It’s disappointing because we know in these conditions give us a bit more of an opportunity, we were quick at the beginning there.

    “Obviously tomorrow is another day – I’m just disappointed not to be able to show more of what we can do in qualifying. We’ve got some work ahead of us to get back in it.”

    Of his race chances, he added: “Either in these [damp conditions] or dry we can fight through to get inside the top 10. We were quick out of the box, and I saw Max jump up there, so we have a good car.

    “This weather could help me out, get me a few more positions. We’ll see.”

  2. Haas driver Romain Grosjean was left feeling very angry and is convinced that Lewis Hamilton had “completely blocked” him during Q3. The race stewards are currently investigating this issue. Motosport.com has the details.

    Romain Grosjean believes that Lewis Hamilton cost him eighth position on the grid for the British Grand Prix by impeding him through the final corner of his first Q3 lap.

    Hamilton, who was just opening his first qualifying run, was investigated by stewards after the session over the incident.

    On the radio on his in-lap, Grosjean complained: “Mercedes needs better GPS – unbelievable”.

    He will now start 10th, but if he had beaten Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren it would have elevated him to eighth due to Valtteri Bottas’s grid penalty.

    After the session, Grosjean told NBC Sports: “My first run in Q3 was really good, I got completely blocked by Hamilton in the last corner and lost a good three tenths.

    “[It cost] at least one position, I would have had Vandoorne at least. Very unhappy with my first attempt being completely ruined at the last corner.

    “Great to be in Q3, but there was so much more to be had, so I’m disappointed.”

    Grosjean also explained that his second push lap was affected by a rear lock-up at Village.

    “For the second run we thought it was going to be fine, then I got to Turn 3 and out of the blue I had a massive rear lock,” he added. “That lost almost half a second.

    “I made it back through the lap, so I think we had much more performance than we showed.”

    When asked about the incident, Hamilton said he had not been told he had a car behind him, but added that he didn’t think Grosjean was “that close” to him.

    “I was coming around to start my lap, Valtteri [Bottas] up ahead, I was trying to get the space behind me was one of the Force Indias, who then came in, so there was no one behind me,” recalled Hamilton.

    “Literally as I was about to get on the gas I looked in the mirror and saw a car, and I tried to get going – I I don’t know if I got in the way, if I did I apologise.

    “I had no indication from the team that anyone was coming. I need to look at the footage. I don’t think he was that close when I pulled away, but I will have a look.”

  3. UPDATE: Hamilton cleared, retains British GP pole. Motorsport.com has the story.

    Lewis Hamilton will keep his pole position for the British Grand Prix after being cleared of blocking Romain Grosjean in Q3 at Silverstone.

    Grosjean was left furious after feeling that he had been impeded by Hamilton on the left-hand turn into Club as he finished his first run in the final shoot-out session. His Haas team suspected he had lost around three tenths of a second in the incident.

    Although the race stewards launched an investigation into the matter, their analysis of the situation was that while Hamilton had got in Grosjean’s way, he had not cost the Frenchman anything.

    A statement issued by the FIA said: “The Stewards examined video and telemetry evidence and concluded that while GRO may potentially have been affected by the presence of HAM at Turn 16, he was not impeded.”

    Prior to the stewards’ decision, Hamilton had already apologised to Grosjean after claiming he had received no warning from his team over the radio that the Haas driver was approaching him.

    “I was coming around to start my lap, Valtteri [Bottas] up ahead, I was trying to get the space behind me was one of the Force Indias, who then came in, so there was no one behind me,” recalled Hamilton.

    “Literally as I was about to get on the gas I looked in the mirror and saw a car, and I tried to get going – I I don’t know if I got in the way, if I did I apologise.

    “I had no indication from the team that anyone was coming. I need to look at the footage. I don’t think he was that close when I pulled away, but I will have a look.”

  4. British Grand Prix qualifying review as reported by Formula1.com.

    Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton matched Jim Clark’s record of five British Grand Prix pole positions on Saturday, after beating Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by half a second in qualifying at Silverstone. The Briton put on a stunning display for his home fans, taking the 67th pole position of his career – and with the biggest margin of the season so far.

    Hamilton was briefly under stewards’ investigation after the session for possibly blocking the Haas of Romain Grosjean early in the final phase, but the officials quickly decided that no action was warranted.

    Championship leader Sebastian Vettel was third, ahead of Valtteri Bottas who had a big lock-up on his final Q3 run. The Finn will drop five grid places for an unscheduled gearbox change. Max Verstappen was fifth, but his Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo – already carrying the same penalty as Bottas – will start from the back after a suspected turbo failure in Q1.

    Nico Hulkenberg took a superb sixth for Renault, ahead of the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne scored his best grid position to date, while the aforementioned Grosjean completed the top ten.

    Hamilton owned the first runs on Q3, with 1m 27.231s, but Ferrari were close with Vettel on 1m 27.430s from Bottas on 1m 27.580s and Raikkonen on 1m 27.622s.

    But when it really counted, the crowd favourite put the spurs to it with a lap of 1m 26.600s, which left Raikkonen a little breathless in the lead SF70H on 1m 27.147s, and Vettel behind him with a disappointed 1m 27.356s. Bottas couldn’t better 1m 27.376s, as Verstappen was a distant fifth on 1m 28.131s for Red Bull.

    The start of Q2 had seen everyone move to slick tyres after earlier rain, and the session ultimately accounted for Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (out-qualified by team mate Vandoorne for the first time), Carlos Sainz, hampered by suspension problems on his Toro Rosso, and Williams’ Felipe Massa. Alonso will drop to the rear of the grid thanks to penalties totalling 30 places due to power unit element changes.

    Bottas was notably the only man to progress to Q3 on soft rather than supersoft tyres, meaning he will be the sole top-ten runner to start Sunday’s race on the more durable rubber.

    A do-or-die, last-minute lap from Alonso after a switch to dry rubber had seen McLaren top a thrilling Q1 phase, which started in damp conditions. The red flags came out briefly as Ricciardo’s stricken Red Bull was cleared and the Australian was eliminated along with Williams’ Lance Stroll, Haas’s Kevin Magnussen and Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.

    Thus, with the penalties for Bottas, Ricciardo and Alonso taken into account the provisional grid reads: Hamilton, Raikkonen; Vettel, Verstappen; Hulkenberg, Perez; Ocon, Vandoorne; Bottas, Grosjean; Palmer, Kvyat; Sainz, Massa; Stroll, Magnussen; Wehrlein, Ericcsson; Ricciardo, Alonso.

  5. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel has commented that Lewis Hamilton “owned pole position” and had no chance in beating the Mercedes driver. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Sebastian Vettel admits he had no chance of beating Lewis Hamilton’s laptime in the final segment of qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

    Vettel was 0.199s off Hamilton’s initial Q3 benchmark at the halfway point in the segment, but while the Briton found more than six tenths in his second run to claim a dominant pole position, the German could only post a marginal improvement.

    It was enough to take him past Valtteri Bottas on the timing screens as he finished third, trailing Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen by two tenths and Hamilton by 0.756s.

    Asked whether he had any chance of matching Hamilton’s benchmark, Vettel said: “No. I think the time he put in at the end was very strong.

    “The one he put in before we were able to beat, the gap at the end was a bit bigger. I think he owned the pole position today.”

    For his part, Raikkonen, who outqualified Vettel for the third time this season, said: “I don’t know how far we were from first but [I have] a pretty good guess where we were giving away laptime.

    “I think we have a good car, not fast enough [for pole], but for the race hopefully we can challenge [Mercedes] and have a good run.”

    Vettel was livid on the team radio after the chequered flag in Q3 as felt he had been compromised by traffic, saying: “What was that on the out-lap, that was a sh*tty spot to be, absolute sh*tty spot. I was way too close to the cars ahead.”

    Asked about it in the post-qualifying press conference, he said: “The last run I was a bit compromised, in the first sector especially, because tyres were not where they should have been.

    “They could have been better on the out-lap but I was in traffic, we were in a bunch of three-four cars. But anyway it is a decent result.”

    Despite the gap in qualifying, Vettel – who felt the car had “come alive” between Friday and Saturday morning practice – admitted he was expecting the Ferrari to be more competitive in race trim, as has been usually the case in 2017.

    “Most important is that the car is good, we improved it today and tomorrow should be better.

    “We have always been closer on Sundays, so sitting here, having expectations, the answer [to whether Ferrari expects to be closer] is always yes, but we’ll see tomorrow.”

  6. Fernando Alonso is pinning his hopes of a good result in the British Grand Prix on “chaos” as he reckons McLaren can be competitive at Silverstone.

    Alonso is set for a 30-place grid penalty which means he will start the race from last position.

    But with a 40-percent chance of rain forecast for the race, the McLaren driver is not ruling out a good result, as he feels his car has been quite strong this weekend.

    Alonso famously topped the first qualifying segment on Saturday thanks to a lap on slick tyres after the track dried out, and he reckons that lap could prove helpful in the race.

    “I think we could have made it through with the intermediates but we decided to use slicks to have a reference for tomorrow in case conditions are similar, and we nearly didn’t make it,” Alonso said.

    “But it worked out fine and we have that reference that’s useful for tomorrow. If it’s changing conditions I think we can be competitive and a bit of chaos would help us.”

    The Spaniard admitted that, although it was irrelevant for his grid position, seeing McLaren in first place in qualifying for the first time since 2013 was good to see.

    “It was a good moment, and for the fans too because there’s McLaren fans here who wans to see the team on top as much as we do. Even though it was only Q1, everybody on the stands was very excited and it was nice to see.”

    Alonso finished qualifying in 13th position after failing to make it to Q3, but said the result was probably better for him since he is starting last anyway.

    “Traffic didn’t affect me, really. It was also close there to cross the finish line with six or seven seconds left to start the lap, but the lap was good and there were no drivers in front so that’s the time we had today.

    “In a way we didn’t want to make it into Q3 because you start last tomorrow anyway but with used tyres from Q2, but at least we start with new tyres and with the compound we want, so P13 is perfect.”

    The two-time champion was outqualified by teammate Stoffel Vandoorne for the first time this year, the Belgian set to start eighth.

    Source: Motorsport.com

  7. Lewis Hamilton was cleared of not impending Romain Grosjean during Q3 and yet the Haas driver believes the Mercedes star escaped the penalty due to title fight. Motorsport.com has the full story.

    Romain Grosjean believes British Grand Prix stewards held back from penalising Lewis Hamilton for qualifying blocking because he is in a Formula 1 championship fight.

    Hamilton was investigated by the officials after claiming Silverstone pole position as Haas driver Grosjean claimed he had been held up by the Mercedes early in Q3.

    Although the stewards acknowledged that Grosjean “may potentially have been affected by the presence” of Hamilton, they concluded “he was not impeded” and allowed the qualifying result to stand.

    “Surprised by the wording: ‘the driver behind has not been impeded’,” said Grosjean. “If losing 0.35-0.4 seconds in one corner is not being impeded, I am very surprised.

    “I think it opens room for messy qualifying and the rules are pretty clear. And I know there is a world title going on at the front but we are in a position where we actually fight as hard as the boys at the front and I was impeded today.

    “How can I put it? Maybe if it was another driver there would have been something. It does feel sometimes that there are two types of decision.”

    Asked if he was suggesting Hamilton received preferential treatment due to his status, Grosjean replied: “I think the title race is an important one.

    “But again we are fighting as hard as those boys. We have got a lot of people working and yes I lost 0.35s in two corners.

    “So if next time I have to get with my front wing into his rear diffuser to show that I have been impeded… We have got very clear rules in qualifying and with 10 cars in Q3, we should not have those problems.”

    He added that he had not been spoken to by the stewards and reiterated that he felt he was being treated inconsistently.

    “I got a five-place grid penalty in China for being too quick under double yellow and today I lost position and nothing is happening,” Grosjean said.

    “It is frustrating that there seems to be big inconsistency between the decision and who is doing the manoeuvre.”

    Grosjean reckoned he would have beaten Stoffel Vandoorne to ninth place in Q3 without the Hamilton incident, which would have made him eighth on the grid rather than 10th once Valtteri Bottas’s grid penalty took effect.

  8. Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul says the team’s new floor is the “triggering event” that will lead to many more updates for the French squad.

    Nico Hulkenberg gave the team its best qualifying result of the year at Silverstone on Saturday with sixth place, but the German moves up to fifth thanks to a penalty for Valtteri Bottas.

    Hulkenberg was fourth in Q1, fifth in Q2 and sixth in Q3.

    An update package, including a new floor, has given the Enstone team an instant boost, and Abiteboul says there is more to come.

    “We have a floor and all that goes with it, and there is more to come from Budapest onwards,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. “That floor is the triggering event to many more steps to come.

    “I’m really happy because it’s also good for all that is in pipeline, because in the wind tunnel is a couple of weeks in advance of the car, and that’s confirming the direction we are following is right, and hopefully that will pay off.”

    Although Hulkenberg’s grid position was helped by the Bottas penalty and problems for Daniel Ricciardo, the German was nevertheless clearly best of the rest behind the three leading outfits.

    “This is exactly where we need to be as soon as possible in a constant manner,” said Abiteboul. “There will continue to be ups and downs, we know that, but that’s exactly the target.

    “We know that we can’t compete with the bigger teams at this point in time, but we should be in that ballpark as possible.”

    Abiteboul said Hulkenberg’s fifth place on the grid has come with perfect timing on the weekend that the French manufacturer celebrates the 40th anniversary of its debut in the sport.

    “A great day,” he said. “It’s typical F1. You leave Austria nowhere, and you suddenly you come one week later to Silverstone and the car is completely changed. We knew we were bringing quite a lot of parts, we don’t play up external and also internal expectations.

    “We need to be careful, because this track and this weather is playing to our advantage, so we need put a little distance with that result. The long run will be a different story. The key area for tonight and tomorrow is to think about tyre management and strategy.

    “It is still a great result for a team that is in construction. It’s also a day of celebration for us because it’s 40 years, so it’s perfect timing.

    “I was thinking of all the people who have been involved in 40 years, and I think they have been pushing to get that result today.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

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