Hamilton Takes Near Record Pole in Britain
SILVERSTONE, England—R.I.S.--Although he made his home fans slightly upset by not attending this past week’s formula one event in London, Lewis Hamilton made up for it by turning in a stunning lap of 1:26:600 in the final qualifying session Saturday afternoon at Silverstone, England, to take his fifth British Grand Prix pole, tying the legendary Jim Clark. In addition, the Briton also is one pole away from the all-time qualifying record, held by Michael Schumacher. The Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel took second and third respectively.
For Hamilton, a good lap was something that he has been waiting a week for.
"I needed to make sure I got that lap in," he said. "I didn't do it last weekend." He told interviewer and former F1 racer Jenson Button.
Hamilton took advantage of the drier conditions that plagued the circuit later, and from the second session onwards, was dominating. However, most of the excitement like it always does when it is wet, occurred in the opening session when Daniel Ricciardo stopped his Red Bull on the track with a failed turbo. This event made the red flag come out with just over ten minutes to go in the session.
But after a quick ten-minute delay, qualifying resumed, and the crowd was treated to an unexpected event when McLaren-Honda’s Fernando Alonso set the best time of the session, although the Spaniard still has a 30-spot gird penalty due to mechanical changes.
Although he will receive a five-grid position penalty for changing a gearbox, Valterri Bottas took fourth, while Max Verstappen finally had an acceptable position for Sunday’s race in fifth. The most improved drivers on this qualifying weekend were Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren-Honda’s Stoffel Vandoorne, who finished on the grid in sixth and ninth positions, respectively. The two Force India’s of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, took seventh and eighth, while Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean finished in tenth.
However, Hamilton did not win this pole for himself.
"I need to do it for these guys," Hamilton exclaimed pointing at his home crowd.
BRITISH GRAND PRIX
At Silverstone, England
Final Qualifying results
1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) AMG Mercedes Petronas 1:26:600
2. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari
3. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari
4. Valterri Bottas (FIN) AMG Mercedes Petronas
5. Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing
6. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault
7. Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India
8. Esteban Ocon (FRA) Force India
9. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren-Honda
10. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team
11. Jolyon Palmer(GBR) Renault
12. Dani Kvyat (RUS) Toro Rosso
13. Fernando Alonso (SPA) McLaren-Honda
14. Carlo Sainz Jr. (SPA) Toro Rosso
15. Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams Martini Racing
16. Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams Martini Racing
17. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team
18. Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber
19. Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber
20. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing
A 16 year veteran of writing formula one racing weekend race reports, features and team launches, Mark has worked for such companies as all-sports, e-sports, The Munich Eye newspaper in Germany, racingnation.com and Autoweek. A former member for this site four years ago, Mark now is a contributor for R.I.S.