Hamilton leads Mercedes domination of Silverstone qualifying

by Paul Hensby

Lewis Hamilton took his eighth pole position in nine races as the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team dominated qualifying at Silverstone.

The British driver set a best time of 1m32.248s in the final part of qualifying, with team-mate Nico Rosberg unable to get closer than 0.113s, but the rest of the field were more than eight tenths of a second behind.

Hamilton and Rosberg had been the drivers to beat all the way through the three stages of qualifying, with both drivers able to get through Q1 on the hard Pirelli tyres brought to Silverstone this weekend whereas most others were forced to switch to the Medium tyres, including the two Ferrari drivers.

In the end both Williams Martini Racing drivers were able to out-qualify the two Ferraris, with Felipe Massa ending third on the grid after a good last lap that saw him get ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas, while Kimi Raikkonen got the better of his team-mate Sebastian Vettel to claim fifth on the grid.

Daniil Kvyat qualified seventh in the leading Infiniti Red Bull Racing entry after team-mate Daniel Ricciardo’s best time in Q3 was deleted for exceeding the track limits at Copse Corner that saw the Australian drop down to tenth at the chequered flag.

After showing strong pace during the weekend up to now, the Scuderia Toro Rosso team appeared to struggle, with only Carlos Sainz Jr making it through to the final part of the qualifying, with the Spaniard setting the eighth best time, but for Max Verstappen it was an afternoon of struggling with grip and traction levels that saw the Dutchman eliminated in Q2 and qualifying thirteenth.

Nico Hulkenberg qualified the b-specification Sahara Force India VJM08 inside the top ten in ninth, with Sergio Perez eleventh despite being another of drivers with deleted lap times due to track limit offences.

The two Lotus F1 Team drivers were twelfth and fourteenth, with Romain Grosjean ahead of Pastor Maldonado, with the Venezuelan guilty of a couple of track limit offences during the session.

Marcus Ericsson was impressive to make it through into Q2 and to out-qualify team-mate Felipe Nasr, but the whole Sauber F1 Team will not be happy to be fifteenth and sixteenth on the grid on Sunday.

Another team to struggle once more were McLaren-Honda, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button seventeenth and eighteenth on the grid. Alonso was doubtful to even attempt to qualify his MP4/30 after a leak in his hybrid system was detected but not fixed before the session, but the Spaniard was able to take to the track and get ahead of his British team-mate.

At the back of the grid are again the two Manor F1 Team drivers, with Will Stevens comfortably out-qualifying Roberto Merhi by 2.013s after the Spaniard had his best time deleted for track limits.

Silverstone Qualifying Result

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m32.248s
26Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m32.361s
319Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m33.085s
477Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m33.149s
57Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m33.379s
65Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m33.547s
726Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m33.636s
855Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m33.649s
927Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m33.673s
103Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m33.943s
--Eliminated in Q2- - -
1111Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m34.268s
128Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m34.289s
1333Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m34.502s
1413Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m34.511s
159Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m34.868s
- - Eliminated in Q1- - -
1612Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m34.888s
1714Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m34.959s
1822Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m35.207s
1928Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m37.364s
2098Roberto MerhiESPManor-Ferrari1m39.377s

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