Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton secures home pole despite track limits scare

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Lewis Hamilton - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lewis Hamilton took a superb pole position at his home race at Silverstone, with the three-time World Champion dominating the whole of qualifying and setting a blistering lap to secure his 55th career pole position.

Hamilton’s lap time of a 1:29.287 was over three tenths faster than his Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team-mate Nico Rosberg, with the German trailing the Briton throughout qualifying and could not match the Britain’s pace.

There was much confusion surrounding track limit penalties, with some driver’s times being deleted for exceeding the track limits and gaining an advantage. Hamilton was penalised for exceeding the track limits on his first fast lap in Q3 leaving the British crowd confused to see Rosberg on top of the time sheets after the first run, but Hamilton returned to the track to take pole again to the delight of the fans.

Red Bull Racing got both drivers on the second row of the grid with Max Verstappen’s lap time of a 1:30.113 enough to be the best of the rest behind the Mercedes. Verstappen’s managed to out-qualify Daniel Ricciardo for the first time this season by over three tenths of a second.

The Scuderia Ferrari drivers were line astern on the third row of a grid but with Sebastian Vettel five place penalty for a gearbox change meaning he will start down in 11th place. Kimi Raikkonen had a troubled qualifying, spinning in Q2 and just making it into Q3, but the Finnish driver will line up fifth with everything to play for.

Valtteri Bottas lifted the spirits of a Williams Martini Racing team struggling for performance in front of their home crowd by lining up seventh for the race tomorrow but it will be converted to a sixth place start due to Vettel’s penalty.

Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr and McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10 in an enthralling qualifying session, with the latter having an even quicker lap deleted that could have put the Spaniard eighth had it have been legal.

The big shocks of Q2 were the eliminations of Force India’s Sergio Perez and Williams’ Felipe Massa, they set a time of a 1:31.875 and a 1:32.002 respectively but it was not quick enough to make it into Q3, although Perez will move into the top ten when Vettel’s penalty is applied.

Romain Grosjean almost made it through to Q3 for the first time this season but the Haas F1 Team driver was forced to settle for thirteenth, just ahead of team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, while Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen were the last two drivers to make it through to Q2, the former blaming the latter for a loss of time on his final run when the two appeared to trip over each other at Vale.

McLaren driver Jenson Button failed to make it through to Q2 at his home Grand Prix, the British driver set a 1:32.788 but it wasn’t good enough to make it through, with a rear wing issue restricting him to just one run that ultimately was not enough.  His fellow Briton Jolyon Palmer will start eighteenth for Renault, while Manor Racing duo Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein were nineteenth and twentieth, ahead of Sauber‘s Felipe Nasr.

The second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson did not participated in qualifying after his practice crash on Saturday morning, and will start at the back of the grid providing the stewards allow him to race.

Silverstone Qualifying Result

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