Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team are finally back in the groove with Lewis Hamilton starting in first place for the sprint race for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
During Friday’s qualifying session, no-one was awarded with pole position as such, instead the driver who set the fastest time gets to start in first place for the sprint race; Hamilton got to hear “get in there Lewis” for the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen looked to be a front runner to be the fastest in qualifying after being over seven-tenths quicker than the rest of the grid but it was Hamilton who stole it in the end.
“I am so grateful to see everyone here – to come to the Silverstone Grand Prix and have a full crowd and see the energy is amazing. When I was coming into this weekend, I was hopeful that with the great work we have done together in the team, plus the energy of the fans, it would get us there.” said Hamilton.
“Red Bull were very quick in the practice session but we were just staying focused on our job and trying to layer up – I was in the sim this morning as a practice session because it’s the first time ever we have had a morning free. I was just putting in the time, trying to give absolutely everything and leave no stone unturned.
“We’ve been working so hard, putting so much effort and time in – at the track, on the sim, in the factory – just trying to stay centred and squeeze every last thing out of this car. It’s been such a difficult time for everyone and we finally got all the fans here at the British Grand Prix, and the desire to want to deliver for everyone is beyond belief. “
“I think the last lap was really good” – Bottas
Valtteri Bottas wasn’t able to join Hamilton on the front row but he’s not too far behind in third.
His weekend started a little slow as he finished fifth in Friday’s practice session, nearly a second behind Verstappen. However, for qualifying, he was able to put in some strong laps and was only one-tenth off of Verstappen’s second place time.
Bottas said: “I think the last lap was really good, I was the first one out in free air with no tow so if I consider that, it was a good lap. As a team we are at the front in the fight which is great to see – Red Bull looked strong in Practice and it was a bit worrying but it’s all to play for.
“Today was only Qualifying, we have the Sprint Race tomorrow with lots of opportunities and I’m looking forward to it – as a team we’ll try to get the best result. It was great to feel the energy and the atmosphere of the crowd today, it’s really cool to see the fans here.”