Bottas beats home crowd favourite Hamilton to Silverstone pole

Valtteri Bottas won the qualifying battle over his Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the British Grand Prix by six thousandths of a second.

Bottas set the pace on the first runs in Q3 at Silverstone, although Hamilton’s time was compromised by the rear stepping out at Brooklands, which meant he ran wide at the exit of the corner.

Although Bottas was unable to improve on his final run in Q3, Hamilton fell just short of grabbing pole in front of his home fans having not been able to match his first-sector pace from the first run.

Ferrari driver Charles Lerclerc was third quickest, within a tenth of Bottas, and a tenth of a second clear of Austrian Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen.

Leclerc looked a threat for pole position, but lost time to the Mercedes drivers in the final sector.

Pierre Gasly was fifth fastest after a strong run during practice, although was 0.314 seconds slower than his Red Bull teammate, while Sebastian Vettel was sixth after a tricky run in Q3 in the Ferrari, lapping six tenths off pole position.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was seventh fastest ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris.

Alex Albon did well to reach Q3 in the Toro Rosso and ended up qualifying ninth, lapping 0.041 seconds quicker than the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.

The Mercedes and Red Bull drivers will start the race on medium-compound Pirellis thanks to using that tyre to set their Q2 times, with the rest of the top ten qualifiers using softs.

Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi was quickest of those eliminated in Q2 after being bumped by Vettel at the end of the session.

Giovinazzi was 0.027 seconds of a second quicker than teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who ended up P12 ahead of McLaren driver Carlos Sainz, who failed to improve on his second Q2 run.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean was P14 ahead of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, who also failed to improve on his second runs.

Kevin Magnussen was eliminated in Q1 and ended up P16 after being jumped by Perez, who was last driver to improve their time in the first segment of qualifying and outpaced the Haas driver by 0.013 seconds.

Magnussen ran through the gravel at the Luffield right-hander on his final lap while “trying to make up for something that wasn’t there”, so was unable to improve on his first-run time.

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat failed to improve his lap time on his second set of softs, so ended up P17 after what he described over the radio as a “poor” lap on his final attempt.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was eliminated in Q1 for the tenth time in 2019 after running wide at the exit of Stowe and Club on his final lap and losing time.

George Russell won the intra-Williams battle for P19, lapping almost half-a-second faster than teammate Robert Kubica.

So congratulations to Valtteri Bottas in achieving his tenth career pole position in Formula 1. Beating the home crowd favourite is an upset and it will be fascinating to see Lewis Hamilton striking back in the race. Bring on the Silverstone action.

Qualifying positions, British Grand Prix:
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m25.093s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.099s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m25.172s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m25.276s
5 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 1m25.590s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m25.787s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m26.182s
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m26.224s
9 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 1m26.345s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m26.386s
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m26.519s
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m26.546s
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m26.578s
14 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m26.757s
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m26.928s
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m26.662s
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1m26.721s
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m26.762s
19 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m27.789s
20 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m28.257s

5 thoughts to “Bottas beats home crowd favourite Hamilton to Silverstone pole”

  1. British Grand Prix qualifying review as reported by

    The fans were out in force for home favourite Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone on Saturday afternoon – but in the end it was Mercedes’ other driver who stole the show. In an enthralling qualifying session, Valtteri Bottas beat Hamilton to pole position by just 0.006s – the smallest margin in almost a decade.

    Hamilton had been seeking a record seventh pole in his home race, but after making a mistake on his first run, he couldn’t claw back enough time on his second effort, and had to settle for second ahead of a flying Charles Leclerc, the top three covered by just 0.079s.

    The Ferrari driver had set two purple sectors on his last Q3 effort, but lost ground in the final sector and will start P3, alongside the man who beat him to victory in Austria two weeks ago – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

    The other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel – the winner here last year – could only manage the sixth-best time, beaten to fifth by the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly.

    Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo emerged as best of the rest outside the top three teams, seeing off the challenge of impressive British-born rookies Lando Norris and Alex Albon, who were eighth and ninth for McLaren and Toro Rosso respectively, ahead of the other Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.

    But this was a qualifying session that will be remembered for fine margins…

    Q1 – Hamilton sets the pace as Magnussen falls early

    After the sprinkles of rain that fell during FP3, the first segment of qualifying got underway on a dry track, albeit under angry looking skies.

    Soft tyres were the order of the day for everyone except Ferrari, who opted for the mediums – not that you would have noticed from the times. Hamilton emerged from the segment in P1, with a track record 1m 25.513s, but Leclerc was only 0.02s back on tyres that are thought to be half a second slower, giving a glimpse of the Ferrari challenge to come.

    Vettel looked less comfortable than his team mate as he came in fifth, switching to the softs midway through but abandoning a lap when it was clear he was safe, behind Verstappen and Bottas.

    Falling at the first hurdle were the Williams duo of George Russell and Robert Kubica, the Englishman half a second quicker than his team mate as they finished 19th and 20th. Also eliminated were Racing Point’s Lance Stroll – out in Q1 for the 14th consecutive time – and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, whose own poor run now extends to three straight Q1 exits.

    Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, meanwhile, took an early bath for the first time since Mexico last season, as Racing Point’s Sergio Perez saved himself at the death. Magnussen’s elimination was put into even sharper context by the fact he was fifth quickest in Austrian qualifying two weeks ago.

    Knocked out: Magnussen, Kvyat, Stroll, Russell, Kubica

    Q2 – Leclerc sets the pace as rookies star

    As usual, all eyes were on which tyres the top contenders would opt to run in Q2, and therefore start tomorrow’s race with. Both Mercedes and both Red Bulls went with the more durable mediums, as did Leclerc initially – but Vettel stuck with softs, albeit without seeing much boost in performance relative to those around him.

    Leclerc set the pace, before switching to softs and improving late on as Ferrari made their race strategy clear. Bottas, second quickest, also bolted on the red-walled tyres late on, but abandoned his effort and will start on mediums, along with team mate Hamilton, who was third quickest in the segment, ahead of the similarly shod Verstappen (in fourth) and Gasly (in sixth).

    At the other end of the timesheet there was the usual gargantuan battle to make the Q3 cut, and it was left to two British-born rookies to star – Lando Norris out-qualifying McLaren team mate Carlos Sainz for the seventh time this year as the Spaniard failed to reach Q3 for the third year running at Silverstone.

    Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon, meanwhile, made it into Q3 for the second time in his career, as the Alfa Romeos of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean’s Haas and Perez’s Racing Point joined Sainz’s McLaren in taking no further part.

    Knocked out: Giovinazzi, Raikkonen, Sainz, Grosjean, Perez

    Q3 – Bottas keeps his cool to take closest pole in a decade

    So, who would rule in the top 10 shootout? Would it be a fifth consecutive home pole for Hamilton or a first for Bottas, who had never qualified in the top three at Silverstone? Over the first runs, it was Bottas with an edge of 0.25s as Hamilton made a clear mistake at Brooklands. Ferrari, meanwhile, were only fourth and sixth after the first runs – Leclerc admitting he’d made an error ‘trying something’. He’d be a lot closer after the second runs…

    Bottas and Hamilton were the first to play their hands, with the home fans – on their feet as Hamilton came past on his out lap – groaning audibly as the Briton missed out on pole by just 0.006s as he improved and Bottas didn’t.

    So, Mercedes were set to hold onto their record of taking every pole at Silverstone since 2013 – or were they? As the fans sat back down in their seats, Leclerc was rapidly clocking purple sectors and he arrived in the final complex of turns ahead. But in the left-right of Club Corner and short shoot to the line the Ferrari driver lost his advantage, and ended up third – albeit just 0.079s off pole.

    An incredibly close battle then, which bodes well for Sunday’s race, with Leclerc having the potential to be a real thorn in Mercedes’ side, starting on the clean side of the grid with a soft tyre advantage…

  2. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton admitted his pace “deteriorated” during British Grand Prix qualifying. has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton felt it getting “harder and harder” to extract maximum performance in British Grand Prix qualifying as his Mercedes Formula 1 car’s pace “deteriorated” compared to teammate Valtteri Bottas.

    Hamilton missed out on the fastest time in qualifying for his home race by just 0.006s as Bottas claimed his fourth pole position of the season.

    Five-time world champion and five-time British GP winner Hamilton had complained about the rear stability of his car after Friday practice, and while he said the set-up was improved for Saturday he found it difficult to maintain his pace as qualifying progressed.

    “The set-up suited the race trim best,” Hamilton said. “I think yesterday I really did struggle with it on a single lap and tried to improve it throughout the evening and into today.

    “It felt great going into P3 and it felt really good at the start of the qualifying session. But it deteriorated as we got through the session, back towards what we had yesterday.

    “It was also windy but the race trim was still good and I didn’t want to move the set-up I had too far away.

    “Fingers crossed, the strength in the race should be quite good, but it depends on what position we are, the wind, and a bunch of other factors.”

    Bottas’s performance moved him clear of Hamilton for number of poles this season, and he now leads his teammate 4-3 on that score.

    However, it was his first since the Spanish Grand Prix in May, and Bottas said he felt he needed to improve on his second run after a Hamilton mistake at Brooklands on the first flying laps in Q3.

    “There was not much in it with Lewis, but going into the second run there were a lot of places that had margin to improve,” said Bottas.

    “It was not a perfect lap, but I doubt anyone did a perfect lap because it was super sensitive to a mistake here or there because of the tarmac and the wind.”

    Some of Bottas’s races earlier this year were hamstrung by poor starts, and others by lack of race pace compared to Hamilton.

    After identifying his weaknesses compared to his teammate, Bottas believes it is more important improve in race trim after what he described as a natural improvement in qualifying speed for 2019.

    “The biggest thing for me is the pure race pace in certain conditions,” he said. “Year by year you re always learning and you get quicker if you work. The main thing is to turn those poles into wins.”

  3. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel commented that he “just didn’t click” with the car following a heavy qualifying defeat at Silverstone. has the full details.

    Sebastian Vettel said he “couldn’t get on top” of his Ferrari Formula 1 car after a disappointing qualifying session at Silverstone.

    The former world champion could manage only sixth on Sunday’s grid, having been outpaced by teammate Charles Leclerc in all three sessions.

    “I think I just struggled to extract what was in the car,” said the German. “I couldn’t get the right feel, I’m not happy with how it went.

    “It didn’t look great on my side, I struggled to feel the car today, just couldn’t get on top of it in time.”

    Vettel admitted that the biggest frustration was his failure to improve over the three sessions.

    “Just didn’t click, so from my point of view right from Q1 I wasn’t able to extract any more from the car, we hovered around the same times.

    “We struggled to squeeze out everything from the tyres, from the car. I think it’s fair to say we were just doing the same from Q1 to Q3, I wasn’t really going with the track, unlike anyone else.”

    Asked about prospects for the race, Vettel said: “Mercedes should be the favourite, but I think we’ll have a fair battle with the Red Bulls, and take it from there.”

    Leclerc, who was an encouraging fastest in Q2, lost out to Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in the final session, and lines up third.

    The Monegasque driver, who outpaced Vettel by over six tenths and was just 0.079s off pole, felt he couldn’t have done any more.

    “Very, very happy with my lap,” Leclerc said. “I think in the last corner I maybe could have done a little bit better, but not much.

    “Overall we are very happy with the performance, very close to the Mercedes and we did not expect it, we thought we would be struggling more this weekend.

    “We have been struggling since P1 with the front end of the car, still in qualifying, but a bit less. It was a good qualifying session for us and I will have hoped for a higher position, but third is the best we can do today.

    Both Ferrari drivers set their Q2 times on the soft tyre, as they did in Austria, whereas their main rivals at Mercedes and Red Bull will start the race on the medium.

    Vettel made it clear this was because “we think it’s better to start on the soft”, while Leclerc added: “We wanted to do that, again I think in Austria it was not a bad choice. That is not what made us finish second there, so we are pretty happy here too.”

  4. Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen commented that the turbo lag cost him a shot at pole position. has the details.

    Max Verstappen believes he might have taken his first Formula 1 pole position at the British Grand Prix without the “huge bummer” of turbo lag, an issue Honda is investigating.

    The Red Bull driver will start the race at Silverstone in fourth place after lapping 0.183s slower than poleman Valtteri Bottas, but claimed he may have lost up to two tenths of a second on his best lap.

    Verstappen reported a “problem with turbo lag” in low-speed corners after feeling his Honda-powered Red Bull was not giving him the power he was requesting at low revs.

    He reckoned he could have “fought for pole” without it, having been considerably closer in qualifying than in Friday practice.

    “If you look at the whole weekend then I just didn’t have a good balance in the car up to qualifying,” said Verstappen. “How we managed to turn that around in qualifying was good.

    “But the whole day I was suffering from turbo lag, which means it holds back when you step on the throttle, before it picks up.

    “That cost us one and a half to two tenths today for sure, so looking at my time that’s a huge bummer.”

    Red Bull and Honda are investigating to determine exactly what caused the disconnect between Verstappen’s throttle application and the resulting power output.

    It is the third race weekend in a row with Honda’s Spec 3 engine that Verstappen has reported such a feeling.

    Verstappen said “I have had it before” when asked by about that recurrence, and insisted it was not linked to the upgrade.

    “It’s just fine-tuning, but we couldn’t fine-tune it today,” he added. to clarify what the fine-tuning means, Verstappen said it related to the way “the boost is kicking”.

    “Normally we can, today we couldn’t,” said Verstappen. “So all the time you go on power, and some corners are low-RPM, there is a lag.
    “You go on throttle and nothing is happening and the suddenly it’s kicking in. So you lose performance, especially here.

    “Most of the exits after [the slower corners] it’s a very long straight. You just continuously lose time.”

    The driveability of Honda’s engine has been a significant plus point for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso drivers this year.

    Asked by if the throttle settings were harder to get right with the Honda than Red Bull’s previous engine supplier Renault, Verstappen said: “Well it’s a completely different power unit isn’t it, so a lot of benefits and some things are of course different.

    “It’s just a bit more fine-tuning. Normally we always get it right. You change some things around and it’s fine.”

  5. Daniel Ricciardo has praised Renault for putting aside the “frustrations” of having to abandon some of its new upgrades as it returned to form at the British Grand Prix.

    Following a deeply disappointing outing in Austria a fortnight ago, Renault went back on a set-up direction and decided to take off some of the new development parts that had arrived as part of a major French GP update package.

    The changes worked, with Ricciardo qualifying a strong seventh at Silverstone and teammate Nico Hulkenberg ending up three places further back.

    Speaking about the reasons for the turnaround since Austria, Ricciardo said that, as well as him feeling more comfortable with the set-up, the decision to abandon some new parts was also important.

    “Some stayed on and some didn’t stay on… a bit of both for sure,” he said about the changes the team had made.

    “It happens and it is frustrating because the team obviously work hard and push in the wind tunnel and CFD, so then when it doesn’t work on track it can be frustrating for the team. But sometimes as well, you have to accept that it doesn’t always happen and go back to something [previous].

    “It also happened at Red Bull. Obviously Red Bull had a lot of pride of being very good at developing the car, but sometimes it didn’t quite add up as well. So I am not saying it is all a waste but not everything worked the way it was [expected to].”

    Ricciardo said Renault’s pace at Silverstone, especially being so quick in the slow-speed corners, had given the team some encouragement that its car had good potential.

    “Definitely the turnaround from Austria is encouraging,” he said. “We weren’t very encouraged after Austria and I felt we had a bit of work to do, so to bounce back in a week or so is really good for the team – just to give them the reassurance that the car can certainly work.

    “We bought some updates in France and tried to push them in Austria, and we probably just went a little bit away from something more conventional.

    “Before France, we built up some really good results and especially me, I started to get quite comfortable with the car. Updates are good and you welcome them, but I think they improved the car in some areas but gave us a few unknowns in others and it wasn’t black and white.

    “We tried to run with them again in Austria and pushed them to their optimum limit, but the car wasn’t happy there. So we came back on a few things this weekend and tried to just go back to our base and a car we are more familiar with, and that is why we are a bit more comfortable.

    “On paper it is not a track that should be good for us. I thought all the fast corners and all that, I thought McLaren in our battle were going to be the ones, and they were certainly close. I think we were a little bit of an underdog today and it is quite nice to get them.”


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