Lewis Hamilton has thundered to his seventh career British Grand Prix pole position as Mercedes sweep to yet another commanding front row lockout in qualifying for round four of the Formula 1 world championship.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the reigning world champion who has been dissatisfied with his car for most of the weekend resulting in minor tweaks being made in the window between final practice and qualifying.
The Brit was vividly wrestling with his Mercedes throughout qualifying which culminated in an uncharacteristic spin at Luffield in the early stages of Q2 to bring out a red flag.
However, Q3 was where it all mattered and Hamilton stormed to his 91st career pole with a scintillating lap record time to stand three-tenths clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas at the chequered flag
Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull but over one-second behind the benchmark time set by Hamilton with a rejuvenated Charles Leclerc holding on to claim a strong fourth for an ailing Ferrari outfit.
Though the sister Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel suffered a more duff session despite showing glimpses of promise in Q2 to qualifying on the slower, more durable medium tyre and will line up 10th.
Lando Norris will duly start from fifth, narrowly beating Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and McLaren stablemate Carlos Sainz in the process. While Daniel Ricciardo led a Renault 8-9 in a solid outing for the French marque.
Substituting in for an absent Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg’s first qualifying session since Abu Dhabi last year struggled to match the performance of his teammate and was eliminated in Q2 to start 13th in tomorrow’s Grand Prix.
The gap from fourth to twelfth was only four-tenths in an ultra-competitive final stage to Q2 but consequently saw a bruised Alex Albon, who suffered a nasty crash in Friday’s second practice session, was knocked out before the shootout in the second Red Bull.
George Russell continued to demonstrate his brilliance in an arguably awful Williams package as he made it to Q2 for a third consecutive time, one-second faster than his teammate Nicholas Latifi.
Unfortunately, a post-qualifying investigation has ruled Russell failed to obey yellow flag conditions when Latifi spun in Q1. Consequently, Russell will start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid having been dealt a five-place grid penalty.
Hamilton’s pole position is his 100th front row start for Mercedes in only 144 starts for the Silver Arrows as he sets his sights on continuing his vice-like grip on the championship with a potential record-smashing seventh British Grand Prix victory up for grabs.