Photo: Mercedes F1 team
Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time during qualifying for the sprint race, or sprint qualifying. Max Verstappen had to settle for second, but the real battle for pole position for the British GP will only take place tomorrow during the so-called ‘sprint qualifying’.
At the British GP we have the first of three race weekends where we have an alternative format. Normally, the driver who sets the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday will also receive pole position, but that is not the case this weekend at Silverstone.
The fastest driver of the qualifying may start the so-called sprint race, or sprint qualifying, first on Saturday. That is a kind of mini race of about half an hour that will then determine the grid positions for the grand prix on Sunday.
It is an idea that will be tested over three race weekends this season, with the aim of making the races less predictable and the sport more attractive to the fans.
We didn’t get any big surprises during the first qualifying part. Max Verstappen was the fastest driver, just like during the only practice session on Friday, and once again confirmed his favorite role for first place on the grid in the sprint qualifying. However, the difference with Hamilton was only a handful of thousandths at the end of the session.
In Q2 we already got a nice foretaste of the final qualifying part. Lewis Hamilton managed to set the fastest time to the delight of the home crowd. That joy only increased when George Russell also managed to set a seventh fastest time in the Williams and push through to Q3.
The drivers had to wait a while in Q3 before entering the track as the first two minutes passed without a single car entering the track. Then of course they all took to the track at the same time, not the first time something like this has happened in F1.
During that first fast run, Lewis Hamilton was the fastest for the time being with 1.26.134, about one and a half tenths faster than Max Verstappen. The British fans shouted their enthusiasm in the stands and the cheers only increased when George Russell also set a provisional seventh fastest time in Q3.
During the second ultimate run Lewis Hamilton seemed to improve his time for a long time but due to a mistake his second run was ultimately slower than the first. Max Verstappen did improve his lap time, but eventually stranded at just 0.075 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton’s best time.
Hamilton is therefore the fastest, but for the time being no ‘pole position’ because that will only be handed out tomorrow at the end of the sprint qualifying. That sprint qualifying promises to be extremely interesting with Hamilton and Verstappen on the front row.
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.786s 1:26.023s 1:26.134s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:26.751s 1:26.315s 1:26.209s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:27.487s 1:26.764s 1:26.328s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1: 27.051s 1: 26.919s 1: 26.828s
5 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1: 27.121s 1: 27.073s 1: 26.844s
6 Lando Norris McLaren 1:27.444s 1:27.220s 1:26.897s
7 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:27.323s 1:27.125s 1:26.899s
8 George Russell Williams 1:27.671s 1:27.080s 1:26.971s
9 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1: 27.337s 1: 26.848s 1: 27.007s
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:27.493s 1:27.103s 1:27.179s
11 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:27.580s 1:27.245s
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:27.600s 1:27.273s
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:27.415s 1:27.340s
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1: 27.595s 1: 27.617s
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:28.017s 1:27.665s
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1: 28.043s
17 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo 1: 28.062s
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:28.254s
19 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:28.738s
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1:29.051s
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