Home favourite Lewis Hamilton scripted history on Saturday when the Mercedes racer romped home to take pole for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, matching the great Jim Clark’s record of five British GP pole positions.
Mercedes and Hamilton had been dominating the practice sessions all weekend and their ascendancy was evident by the fact that Hamilton was ahead of the second-placed Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari by half a second.
Raikkonen’s teammate and championship leader, Sebastian Vettel, was a close third while Mercedes driver Valterri Bottas came in fourth but will start Sunday’s race from ninth-place on the grid after a penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
It was a poor day in the office for Red Bull, as Daniel Ricciardo was forced to stop in Q1 after his car suffered a suspected turbo failure, scuppering any chances of the Australian taking pole. Max Verstappen came in a creditable fifth and will be a real danger on race day considering his ability to outperform others in treacherous conditions.
Nico Hulkenberg impressed in all stages, eventually placing sixth but it was Stoffel Vandoorne, who came in ninth in the McLaren, that raised a few eyebrows.
Force India duo Sergio Perez had decent outings, coming in at sixth and seventh respectively on a day which saw drivers scramble to make changes to their tyres with weather conditions that kept changing throughout.
The top 10 drivers:
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
4. Valterri Bottas Mercedes*
5. Max Verstappen Red Bull
6. Nico Hulkenberg Renault
7. Sergio Perez Force India
8. Esteban Ocon Force India
9. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
10. Roman Grosjean Haas