British GP - Saturday - Qualifying Session Report

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Lewis Hamilton, British GP 2013

Lewis Hamilton, British GP 2013 

 © The Cahier Archive

Lewis Hamilton thrilled his home crowd by earning the pole position for the British Grand Prix.

He beat out his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. Red Bull teammates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber gridded third and fourth.

It was Hamilton's 28th pole of his F1 career and his second of the season.

Qualifying 1

The ambient air temperature at the start of Q1 was 86 Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), and the track temperature was 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius.) The humidity was 70 percent.

Nico Hulkenberg was the first driver out on the track followed by his Sauber teammate Esteban Gutierrez.

Lewis Hamilton meanwhile was in no hurry to go out and went to the pit wall to wave to the fans in the grandstand.

Lotus teammates Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen set the bar with times of 1:32.586 and 1:32.785 respectively six minutes into the 20 minute session. Grosjean then improved to a 1:32.401.

But just before the midpoint of Q1 Fernando Alonso moved on top with a 1:32.266 only to have Grosjean respond with a 1:31.964.

But now the Mercedes drivers were on track and Rosberg clocked a 1:31.355 only to have his teammate Hamilton beat that with a 1:30.995.

The Red Bulls had stayed in the garage, and with just eight minutes remaining Webber drove down pit lane. A minute later Vettel did so as well.

Webber went third fastest and Vettel fourth with four minutes to go.

With 3 minutes to go, Sergio Perez put his McLaren into fifth place, but he would be pushed down to seventh.

The top six were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Vettel and Webber.

The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q1 were: Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Charles Pic (Marussia), Jules Bianchi (Marussia) and Guido van der Garde.

Guido van der Garde's Caterham remained in the garage for nearly the whole session. He had a 10 place grid penalty for hitting Mark Webber in Canada so there was no reason for him to waste tires going out early to qualifying at the back of the grid.

Qualifying 2

The 15 minute Q2 session that would eliminate six more drivers began with Webber being the first onto the track in his Red Bull. He was on the hard Pirelli slicks with the red side walls. He clocked a 1:31.341.

Then Rosberg set a 1:31.028 and Hamilton did a 1:31.224. Both were on the medium Pirelli compound tires.

Vettel had not set a time and had been out of the top 10, but with four minutes to go he was finally on a fast lap. He topped the list with a 1:30.990.

The top six were: Vettel, Webber, Rosberg, Adrian Sutil (Force India), Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso), Hamilton, Paul di Resta (Force India), Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Grosjean and Raikkonen.

The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Jenson Button (McLaren), Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Perez, Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado (Williams.) So both McLarens failed to make it into Q3,

Qualifying 3

Ricciardo steered his Toro Rosso out of pit lane to begin the 10 driver shootout that would last 10 minutes. He set a time of 1:31.579. Webber beat that with a 1:30.508, but the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Rosberg then moved into first and second with a 1:30.096 and 1:30.231.

Webber was now third and Vettel fourth.

Di Resta, Sutil and Raikkonen did not go out for the first stint.

After the first round of runs it was time to duck into the pits to prepare for the final shootout in the final two minutes. All 10 cars were on the track.

Webber moved up to second with a 1:30.220, and then Rosberg turned a 1:30.059 and disposed Hamilton out of the top spot. Then Hamilton retook the pole with a 1:29.607, and pushed Webber to third. Vettel came around at the end to take third with a 1:30.211 and Webber dropped to fourth.

Di Resta, Ricciardo, Sutil, Grosjean, Raikkonen and Alonso rounded out the top 10.

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