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British GP 2016

JULY 9, 2016

Qualifying Report - Exceeding the limits

Lewis Hamilton, British GP 2016
© Active Pictures


By Dan Knutson in Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton exceeded the track limits in the Qualifying 3 for the British Grand Prix, and therefore the stewards wiped out his pole-winning lap time. But Hamilton headed out for another run and did exceeding well to go even faster and reclaim the top spot ahead of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

The ambient temperature at the start of qualifying was 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Centigrade.)

The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull TAG Heuer - Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen . Force India Mercedes - Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Renault - Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. Toro Rosso Ferrari - Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. Sauber Ferrari - Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. McLaren Honda - Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Manor Mercedes - Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto. Haas Ferrari - Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.

Missing from action in qualifying, however, was Ericsson who had been sent to hospital for routine checks following his big accident in FP3.


Manor teammates Wehrlein and Haryanto were the first out in the 16-minute session.

Rosberg and Hamilton, both on the soft compound Pirellis, took the lead with times of 1:30.724 and 1:30.739 respectively. Verstappen and Ricciardo slotted into third and fourth. But the Ferrari drivers soon pushed Ricciardo down to sixth.

Halfway through Q1 only 13 drivers had clocked a lap time.

With four minutes remaining, Palmer was 15th, Grosjean 16th and Magnussen 17th, so those were the drivers in the bubble area. With two minutes to go, the three in the bubble area were Button, Kvyat and Palmer.

Then Magnussen moved up to 15th only to be displaced by Kvyat.

The six drivers who were eliminated at the end of FP1 were: Button, Palmer, Haryanto, Wehrlein, Nasr and Ericsson.

The fastest 16 drivers who moved on to Q2 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Vettel, Ricciardo, Bottas, Sainz, Massa, Gutierrez, Alonso, Grosjean, Perez, Hulkenberg, Kvyat and Magnussen.


Rosberg, on the soft tires, was the first out in the 15-minute Q2. He set a time of 1:29.970, and moments later Hamilton did a 1:29.243 on the softs.

Verstappen claimed third again ahead of Ricciardo. Raikkonen livened things up with a spin at Turn 17 as Vettel once again moved in ahead of Ricciardo.

Looking at the bubble with five minutes remaining, Grosjean was ninth, Alonso tenth and Perez 11th. Raikkonen had yet to set a time.

Raikkonen went out for another run, and he went wide at Turn 3. He had time to do one more lap. And he jumped to sixth. Perez took ninth, briefly, before falling to 11th again.

When it was all over, the six drivers who were eliminated at the end of FP2 were: Perez, Massa, Grosjean, Gutierrez, Kvyat and Magnussen.

The fastest 10 drivers who moved on to Q3 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Bottas, Sainz, Alonso and Hulkenberg.


Out first was Rosberg as the 12-minute Q3 began. His first run yielded a 1:29.606, and then Hamilton clocked a 1:29.339.

Like clockwork, Verstappen claimed third with a 1:30.313. Ricciardo took fourth, Raikkonen fifth and Vettel sixth after a big slide.

But Hamilton had his time deleted for exceeding the track limits at Turn 9! So after the first rounds of runs, the order was Rosberg, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Sainz, Hulkenberg, Alonso and Hamilton.

All 10 were in the pits with four minutes remaining. Hamilton was the first of them to go back out. He did a 1:29.287 to reclaim the pole. Rosberg did not improve his time, so he remained second.

The top 10 qualifiers were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Sainz, Hulkenberg and Alonso.

Vettel, however, will have to take a five-place grid penalty because his Ferrari needed a new gearbox.