British GP - Saturday - Qualifying Session Report

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Lewis Hamilton, British GP 2017

Lewis Hamilton, British GP 2017 

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By Dan Knutson in Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton was a hit with the fans as he won the pole for his home grand prix at Silverstone. It was the 67th pole of his F1 career. One more and he will tie Michael Schumacher's all-time record.

The lineup for the weekend was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Red Bull TAG Heuer - Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen; Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen; Force India Mercedes - Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon; Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll; McLaren Honda - Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne; Renault - Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer; Toro Rosso Renault - Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz; Haas Ferrari - Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; Sauber Ferrari - Marcus Ericsson and Antonio Giovinazzi.

QUALIFYING 1

The ambient temperature at the start of qualifying was 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Centigrade).

And it was raining lightly, so the track was slick. But some drivers were on slicks, others on intermediate rain tires.

"Raining quite heavily," Raikkonen radioed.

Verstappen, on inters, posted a 1:43.166. Those drivers who were on slicks now pitted for inters.

Ricciardo did a 1:42.966. But then he parked his car at Turn 8. That brought out the red flags with 10 minutes remaining in the 18-minute session.

"I think it is the turbo," he radioed.

After five minutes the session was restarted. Alonso was 15th and on the bubble, with Stroll 16th and Raikkonen 14th.

Just about everybody headed out as the track was now drier, as Vettel proved by going fastest with a 1:40.056.

The order changed constantly as all the drivers but Ricciardo were on track and lapping.

Verstappen clocked a 1:38.912. Ricciardo, who had been first, was pushed down to 13th, then 15th, then last.

Alonso went out on slicks at the last moment and topped the times with a 1:37.598.

The five drivers who were eliminated at the end of Q1 were: Stroll, Magnussen, Wehrlein, Ericsson and Ricciardo.

The fastest 15 drivers who moved on to Q2 were: Alonso, Verstappen, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Ocon (who was also on slicks at the end), Vettel, Vandoorne, Raikkonen, Sainz, Palmer, Kvyat, Massa, Perez and Grosjean.

Alonso, however, had so many penalties coming that he would start the race at the back of the grid.

QUALIFYING 2

The rain had stopped when the 15-minute Q2 began. So everybody was on slicks.

Hamilton did a 1:31.145, but Hulkenberg topped that with a 1:31.085. All the drivers were on super softs except for Bottas who used the softs. He took the lead with a 1:29.687.

Then Hamilton retook the lead with a 1:29.097.

Down on the bubble, Perez was 10th, Grosjean 11th and Alonso ninth.

It didn't stay that way, of course, and at the end of Q2 the five drivers who were eliminated were: Palmer, Kvyat, Alonso, Sainz and Massa.

Right at the end, Vettel took the lead only to lose it to Hamilton.

The fastest 10 drivers who moved on to Q3 were: Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Verstappen, Ocon, Perez, Grosjean and Vandoorne.

QUALIFYING 3

Q3 lasted 12 minutes, and everybody was on the super soft Pirelli slicks of course.

Bottas did a 1:27.580, Hamilton beat that with a 1:27.231.

Vettel moved into second with a 1:27.430, and Raikkonen fourth with a 1:27.622.

With the first laps in the books, the order was Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Perez, Ocon, Grosjean and Vandoorne.

Everybody pitted to prepare for one last lunge.

Hamilton lunged to a 1:26.600. Bottas, then Raikkonen grabbed second, then Vettel took third, pushing Bottas down to fourth. Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Perez, Ocon, Vandoorne and Grosjean rounded out the top 10.

But Bottas would have a five-place grid penalty for a new gearbox.

Hamilton did a cool down lap waving to the home crowd fans with pole 67 in his pocket.


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