Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton takes top position in qualification at the British Grand Prix

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Credit: Mercedes Archive/LAT Images

Lewis Hamilton finished in first position at the British Grand Prix at the tenth race of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Max Verstappen was in second position, just 0.075 seconds slower. Valtteri Bottas was in third position a further 0.119 seconds behind the Dutchman.

In the new format, the qualifying session took place on Friday instead of the traditional session on Saturday. The qualification results set the grid for the Sprint race which will take place on Saturday.

The finishing positions in that race will determine the pole position and the grid positions for the race on Sunday. The top three drivers in the Sprint race will be awarded points.

The qualifying session took place at the Silverstone circuit under cool conditions with air temperatures at 25 degree C and track temperatures at 40 degree C. The three compounds for this race are from the hardest range of the Pirelli tyres – the white-striped hard tyres (C1), the yellow-striped medium tyres (C2) and the red-striped soft tyres (C3).

In this new qualifying format, only the soft compound tyre was used. The rule that the top ten drivers in qualifying have to start the race on the set of tyres on which they set the fastest lap in Q2 does not apply.

Q1: Räikkönen and Tsunoda Eliminated

Lando Norris went to the top of the time charts in the early exchanges with a lap time of 1m 28.277s. Norris was soon overhauled by the two Mercedes drivers with Lewis Hamilton in first position with a lap time of 1m27.160s.

Max Verstappen stamped his authority as he moved ahead of Hamilton with a lap time that was 0.407 seconds faster. Fernando Alonso lifted himself out of the drop zone with a good lap that put him in fourth position.

In the dying minutes of the session with dramatic track evolution drivers set fast lap times and Räikkönen and Tsunoda joined the Williams Racing and Utrakali Haas F1 team drivers in the drop zone.

Q1 dropzone: Yuki Tsunoda, Nicholas Latifi, Kimi Räikkönen, Mick Schumaher, Nikita Mazepin

Q2: Alonso and Gasly Eliminated

Hamilton set the pace in the second qualification session with an opening lap time of 1m26.602s. Valtteri Bottas was in second position, 0.164 seconds slower.

Verstappen went to the top of the time charts, just 0.098 seconds faster than Hamilton. The two Ferrari drivers came out late in the session as Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc slotted into seventh and eighth positions.

In the dying minutes of qualification, Hamilton topped the session as he went 0.292 seconds faster than Verstappen. George Russell then had a stunning lap to take seventh position and pushed Alonso into the drop zone.

Q2 dropzone: Fernando Alonso, Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon, Antonio Giovinazzi, Lance Stroll

Q3: Hamilton takes top position

The last twelve minutes of qualification was not for the pole position, but to determine the grid for the Sprint race.

Hamilton took first position with a lap time of 1m26.134s. Verstappen was slower by 0.172 seconds. Vettel had his lap time deleted for exceeding track limits.

Russell had the home crowd on their feet as he took seventh position on his first flying lap. On the second flying lap even as Hamilton did not improve, Verstappen went faster but just fell short by 0.075 seconds.

Hamilton will start in first position for the Sprint race on Saturday. An important comeback for the Mercedes team as Hamilton and Bottas took first and third positions in qualification.

Top 10: Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc, Sergio Pérez, Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, George Russell, Carlos Sainz, Sebastian Vettel

Results of 2021 Brtish Grand Prix Qualification:

PosNoDriverNat.TeamQ1Q2Q3Laps
144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team01:26.801:26.001:26.123
233Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing01:26.801:26.301:26.216
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team01:27.501:26.801:26.322
416Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari01:27.101:26.901:26.820
511Sergio PerezMEXRed Bull Racing01:27.101:27.101:26.817
64Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team01:27.401:27.201:26.920
73Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team01:27.301:27.101:26.922
863George RussellGBRWilliams Racing01:27.701:27.101:27.017
955Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari01:27.301:26.801:27.021
105Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team01:27.501:27.101:27.215
1114Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team01:27.601:27.212
1210Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda01:27.601:27.314
1331Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team01:27.401:27.312
1499Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN01:27.601:27.615
1518Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team01:28.001:27.712
1622Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda01:28.010
177Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN01:28.19
186Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing01:28.38
1947Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team01:28.710
209Nikita MazepinRAFUralkali Haas F1 Team01:29.19
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