Formula 1

Early Q3 run ensures British GP pole for Bottas

1 Mins read
Valtteri Bottas & Lewis Hamilton - Formula 1 - 2019 British GP
Credit: LAT/Mercedes AMG Motorsport

Mercedes AMG Motorsport‘s Valtteri Bottas will start Sunday’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix from pole position ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas’s time of 1:25.093, set on his first lap in Qualifying 3 as track conditions changed between runs, prevented Hamilton from taking a fifth consecutive British GP pole by 0.006 seconds and set a new Silverstone track record.

Charles Leclerc convincingly headed the standings in Free Practice 3 for Scuderia Ferrari on Saturday morning, but had to settle for third on the grid – albeit just 0.079s shy of Bottas.

Leclerc had also set the fastest time in Qualifying 2 ahead of Bottas, after Hamilton took the spoils in the first session, but could not eclipse the Finn’s time in final sector.

Hamilton and Bottas were the first cars out on track in the top 10 shootout, coming out around a minute before Leclerc and team-mate Sebastian Vettel appeared from the garage.

A mistake at Brooklands from Hamilton left him off-line for Luffield corner and handed a 0.25s advantage to Bottas, as the Ferraris were left a disappointing fourth and sixth – each behind an Aston Martin Red Bull Racing car.

Track temperatures fell below 30C in overcast conditions, a real contrast to the 40C recorded on a bright Friday, and halted clear progress for many drivers on their final laps.

Leclerc and Hamilton made significant improvements, Hamilton’s down to a tidier run through Brooklands and Luffield, but could not dislodge Bottas, who couldn’t improve his time despite a purple final sector.

Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly will start ahead of Vettel in the second Ferrari, Gasly staying in touch with Verstappen after a solid start to his British GP weekend.

2018 British GP winner Vettel struggled throughout the hour, never managing to get within 0.3s of the ultimate pace and ending the session 0.694s slower than Bottas.

Daniel Ricciardo managed seventh for the Renault F1 Team to aid recovery from a damaging Austrian Grand Prix weekend two weeks’ ago, ahead of British McLaren F1 Team rookie Lando Norris and the impressive Alexander Albon for Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Norris and Albon’s second run on used soft tyres helped demote the other Renault of Nico Hülkenberg to the final spot in the top 10.

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