Formula 1

Hamilton storms to British GP pole despite causing red flag

Aug 1 2020
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, seeing off Valtteri Bottas in an all-Mercedes pole duel.

Hamilton had shrugged off a big spin in the second qualifying segment, when he lost the rear of his W11 going through Luffield and kicked up a cloud of dust with his rear tyres.

But the spin, which caused a red-flag stoppage for clean-up due to leaving gravel on the track surface, had little in the way of consequences for the F1 championship leader, who was back onto the circuit immediately as the session resumed and comfortably progressed into Q3 on a fresh set of mediums. He will therefore start the British GP on the yellow-walled tyre, as will Bottas.

The Q1 and Q2 pacesetter, Bottas was nearly two tenths up on Hamilton in the first sector on his first attempt in the pole shootout, yet surrendered his advantage over the rest of the lap, ending up a tenth and a half behind Hamilton’s 1m24.616s.

He improved to match that time on his second attempt, but Hamilton himself fired in a 1m24.303s to establish a margin of three tenths over the Finn.

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will make up the second row behind the Mercedes pair, but both were over a second off Hamilton’s pace.

The two McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr placed fifth and seventh, split by the Racing Point of Lance Stroll.

Stroll, however, will join the two Mercedes cars, as well as Verstappen and Leclerc, in starting on the medium tyre, having narrowly progressed into the final segment on mediums while his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg fell short despite grabbing the softs late on in Q2.

Hulkenberg, due to start 13th, received a late call-up from Racing Point to compete at the British GP in place of team regular Sergio Perez, who tested positive for COVID-19.

Daniel Ricciardo was behind Renault team-mate Esteban Ocon after the opening runs in Q3, but overturned the deficit to lead Ocon in eighth place, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel making up the Q3 order in 10th.

Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri British Grand Prix 2020 Silverstone

Pierre Gasly maintained a perfect 2020 qualifying record over AlphaTauri team-mate Daniil Kvyat, but was just short of a Q3 berth – setting an identical time to the medium-shod Stroll in Q2 but dropping behind Stroll by virtue of having set his time later.

Red Bull’s Alex Albon, working with a new race engineer in Simon Rennie, missed the pole shootout for the second race running due to a disappointing final Q2 lap on softs that was only good enough for 12th, ahead of Hulkenberg and Kvyat – who also has a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Williams driver George Russell made his third consecutive Q2 appearance and wound up 15th, but is under investigation over a potential yellow flag infringement – having improved late in Q1 despite team-mate Nicholas Latifi spinning ahead of him at Luffield.

Russell insisted on the radio that he “definitely backed off” and “was well in control”, but will have to see the stewards at 3.30pm local time.

George Russell Williams British Grand Prix 2020 Silverstone

As in Hungary, both Ferrari customer teams were eliminated in full in the opening segment, although the two Alfa Romeos slotted in between the two Haas cars this time. All four will gain a spot from Kvyat’s penalty.

Kevin Magnussen was fastest of those eliminated in 16th, going just 0.006s quicker than Giovinazzi at the last second, shortly after Giovinazzi himself had leapfrogged Alfa team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Romain Grosjean in 19th was nearly half a second lower than the fellow Haas of Magnussen, yet still managed to narrowly outpace the spinning Latifi.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.9s 1m25.347s 1m24.303s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m25.801s 1m25.015s 1m24.616s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m26.115s 1m26.144s 1m25.325s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m26.55s 1m26.203s 1m25.427s
5 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m26.855s 1m26.42s 1m25.782s
6 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m26.243s 1m26.501s 1m25.839s
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m26.715s 1m26.149s 1m25.965s
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m26.677s 1m26.339s 1m26.009s
9 Esteban Ocon Renault 1m26.396s 1m26.252s 1m26.209s
10 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m26.469s 1m26.455s 1m26.339s
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1m26.343s 1m26.501s
12 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 1m26.565s 1m26.545s
13 Nico Hülkenberg Racing Point-Mercedes 1m26.327s 1m26.566s
14 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1m26.774s 1m26.744s
15 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m26.732s 1m27.092s
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m27.158s
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m27.164s
18 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m27.366s
19 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m27.643s
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m27.705s
Lewis Hamilton takes British Grand Prix pole 2020

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