Russell takes British Grand Prix pole ahead of Hamilton and Norris

Following on from his victory at the Red Bull Ring a week ago, George Russell took pole position at Silverstone ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

It was a thrilling fight for pole which became a duel between the two Mercedes drivers. Neither Hamilton nor Russell had improved on their first sectors, but started to turn up the speed as their laps progressed.

Hamilton logged a lap time of one minute, 25.990 seconds to take the top spot and yet seconds later Russell picked up and set an one minute, 25.819 seconds to achieve his third Formula 1 pole.

Russell had earlier led an all-British top three after the opening runs of Q3 by just 0.006 seconds over Norris, as Hamilton and Oscar Piastri were both within touching distance in the battle for pole.

Max Verstappen was an outside bet, having been hampered by floor damage sustained during his Q1 off through the gravel at Copse.

Norris preserved his place in that top three, but was unable to improve on his final run and lost one position to Hamilton to lead the second row alongside Verstappen.

Although Verstappen had managed to dislodge Piastri from the top four, he was unable to challenge the top three and was ultimately four tenths adrift of Russell’s pole time.

Piastri beat an impressive Nico Hulkenberg, as the Haas driver claimed sixth thanks to the boost handed to him by new car upgrades. Carlos Sainz was seventh fastest from Lance Stroll, as Alex Albon beat Fernando Alonso to ninth on the grid.

High track evolution characterised Q2 as the Silverstone track continued to dry out, producing an ever-changing order throughout the 15-minute qualifying phase as the drivers fought until the final second to break into Q3.

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc looked vulnerable in the final stages of the session, and Leclerc’s move up to seventh in the order sent Verstappen into the drop zone.

But the world champion recovered and pulled himself up to sixth to knock Logan Sargeant out of the top ten, and Lance Stroll’s final effort pushed Leclerc back into the bottom five which knocked the Monaco winner an early exit.

Yuki Tsunoda had spent the majority of the session in the bottom five, and was not able to lift himself from the drop zone on his final lap – although was just 0.7 seconds shy of Lando’s leading time from Q2.

Zhou Guanyu and Daniel Ricciardo were also knocked out in the middle phase of qualifying, both separated by 0.6 seconds from Tsunoda ahead.

Another big elimination was presented by Sergio Perez, who dropped out in Q1 after he produced a red flag halfway through changeable conditions in the opening stage of qualifying.

Perez suffered a snap on the entry into Copse on his out-lap on soft tyres after ditching his intermediates, and understeered into the run-off. With limited grip as the asphalt was still wet, the Red Bull driver slipped into the gravel and his car dug in. This left him stranded and a Q1 exit.

Unsurprisingly, the improvement on soft tyres after the restart ensured that Perez fall down the order, except from the slowest time by Pierre Gasly. The Alpine driver has a host of penalties for taking new power unit components, and thus will start from the pitlane on race day.

Valtteri Bottas had set the first lap on softs after the restart, but had been unable to improve on his time as a brief spurt of rain affected the final five minutes of the session. This also cost Kevin Magnussen, who took a trip across the gravel at Copse and retreated to the pits; the Haas driver could do no better than P17 as he was in the pits at the close of the session.

Esteban Ocon also dropped out, claiming over the radio that his sole push lap in Q1’s final phase came amid the interloping rain.

So a fantastic British 1-2-3 in qualifying at Silverstone. The trackside fans are loving this result and it will be fascinating to see which driver can achieve the win at home.

British Grand Prix, qualifying results:
1 George Russell Mercedes 1:25.819
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.990
3 Lando Norris McLaren 1:26.030
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:26.203
5 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:26.237
6 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:26.338
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:26.509
8 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:26.585
9 Alexander Albon Williams 1:26.640
10 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:26.917
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:27.097
12 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:27.175
13 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1:27.269
14 Zhou Guanyu Sauber 1:27.867
15 Daniel Ricciardo RB 1:27.949
16 Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:32.431
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:32.905
18 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:34.557
19 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:38.348
20 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:39.804

5 thoughts to “Russell takes British Grand Prix pole ahead of Hamilton and Norris”

  1. George Russell clinched an impressive pole position in qualifying for the British Grand Prix, with the Mercedes team locking out the front row after Lewis Hamilton claimed second place.

    Having set the initial pace during the first runs of Q3, Russell improved further on his final effort by pumping in a time of 1m 25.819s, putting him 0.171s clear of Hamilton, while Lando Norris followed in third for McLaren to complete an all-British top three.

    Max Verstappen could only manage fourth in the Red Bull, having seemingly been hampered by an earlier trip through the gravel at Copse, and Oscar Piastri took fifth for McLaren. Nico Hulkenberg, meanwhile, caught the eye by going sixth in the Haas, ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

    Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso enjoyed a better day for Aston Martin than during recent weekends, having secured P8 and P10 on the grid respectively, as Williams’ Alex Albon slotted between them in P9.

  2. “Challenging” Q1 and Q2 left British GP polesitter George Russell facing “the most pressure I’ve ever felt” in qualifying.

    George Russell feared he was set for an early Formula 1 qualifying elimination before securing pole for the British Grand Prix, and felt his car came alive in Q3.

    Both Mercedes drivers had brief flirtations with the elimination zone across the opening phases of qualifying at Silverstone, but managed to haul themselves into the final shootout for pole.

    Russell said that this was where the performance of his W15 ratcheted up, although he admitted that it was “the most pressure I’ve ever felt in a qualifying session” as he felt his confidence being knocked by the first phases.

    “This is definitely one of the best feelings I’ve ever had on a Saturday afternoon and the car was just insane when we went out in Q3, it just really came alive,” Russell said. “It was one of the best feelings I’ve had driving this circuit – crossing the line with my name in P1.

    “And then with both of us on the front row, we couldn’t have even dreamed of that after the first three or four races.

    “In Q3, we really turned it up, because Q1 and Q2 were very, very challenging. I felt like I was about to get knocked out at various points. The track was improving every single lap.

    “And probably going into Q3 was the most pressure I’ve ever felt in a qualifying session because the whole Q1 and Q2 runs, it felt like I was on the verge of getting knocked out every single occasion.

    “I wasn’t feeling that confident with myself, but as soon as I went through Turn 1 and Turn 2 in Q3 I felt good and managed to do the laps.”

  3. Lando Norris feels he “didn’t deliver” in challenging for pole at Formula 1’s British Grand Prix, where George Russell and Lewis Hamilton knocked him off the race’s front row.

    Norris, who over the last two weekends has topped F1 qualifying in Spain and was second twice against the clock in Austria, had set the pace in Q2 at Silverstone.

    The McLaren racer then surged ahead of team-mate Oscar Piastri and the hobbled Red Bull of world champion Max Verstappen with Hamilton 0.166s down after the first runs in Q3 on Saturday, before Russell shot ahead to claim provisional pole.

    Russell and Hamilton then improved their best efforts to secure Mercedes’ first front-row lockout since the 2022 Brazilian GP, while Norris abandoned his final lap after he “just ran wide” out of Chapel.

    When asked if he felt he was on for pole without that slip, Norris replied: “No, I was already 0.15s down.

    “So, it’s tough. I think George and Lewis did a great job. For two cars to get there shows the team were also doing an amazing job.

    “It was super close. I think if I’d put in a good enough lap it was close and could’ve been a bit of a fight.

    “But this team have been very quick all weekend – since FP1. So, there or thereabouts, but I just didn’t deliver it today.”

  4. Max Verstappen was told the floor damage caused by his run across the Copse gravel trap in Q1 for Formula 1’s British Grand Prix robbed him of 100 downforce points.

    Amid the threat of a rain shower in the opening segment of qualifying, Verstappen had been pushing hard on slicks when he hit a damp patch at Copse – pitching him off the circuit and through the gravel.

    Although he was able to keep going and recovered to get through each segment to end up fourth on the grid, his RB20 had picked up damage on the underside which robbed him of performance.

    Asked if the team had informed him of how much downforce had been lost, Verstappen said: “Initially it was 100 [points], which is a lot. We got it down a little bit, but it was a lot.”

    While there is no exact correlation between the loss of downforce points and lap time, it is generally viewed that 10 points is equal to around 0.1 seconds. In that case, 100 points could be worth up to one second.

    Verstappen said the incident at Copse had been down to him being in the wrong place at the wrong time as the rain came down.

    “Q1, that off was super unlucky,” he said. “I came out of Turn 7 heading towards Copse and it started to rain. So, I knew that the people in front of me didn’t have that rain patch and, of course, they were on slicks.

    “I knew in Q1 we needed that slick lap in, because you never know if it is going to rain more and then the session is over. Naturally, I tried to keep the speed up. I did slow down knowing it was raining on my visor, but it still snapped on me and then I had to try and keep it out of the wall, going offline.

    “I had to take the gravel which ripped the floor apart. Missed quite a few bits on the car, even though the team did do quite a good job in trying to recover some of the bits and trying to optimise the balance front to rear – that basically ruined our qualifying.

    “I was happy to be in Q3 with the damage that we had, and to be P4 is probably a bit of a positive surprise.”

  5. Nico Hulkenberg wound up the fastest Ferrari-powered car in qualifying for the 2024 British Grand Prix, finishing just ahead of the works Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in his newly-upgraded Haas VF-24 – and he praised the work the team had done.

    There were nervous moments for the German driver in the first segment of qualifying, Hulkenberg having his rhythm upset in Q1 by a red flag for Red Bull’s Sergio Perez – who beached his RB20 in the Copse Corner gravel – leaving Hulkenberg with just one lap to move forward into the latter stages.

    From there, though, Hulkenberg was impeccable, as he wound up P6 on the grid for Haas’s best start of the year – and their best ever start at Silverstone.

    “We just managed to take the momentum and the tailwind from last week into this weekend,” added Hulkenberg, who claimed P6 in the Austrian Grand Prix. “Plus I think the upgrades we produced yesterday afternoon in [Free Practice 2] did the rest and they really had an effect. I really felt a gain with them straight away, which was obviously very good and not always the case.

    “So good job to the team and very happy about that. Quali was good; Q1 was a little bit too close for comfort with only one lap and the red flag with Checo [Perez] and our timing, we got a little out of sync with everyone else. That was a bit sketchy but otherwise a good clean session.”

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