Max Verstappen left it late to overcome Lando Norris to take pole for tomorrow morning’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The championship leader topped the time sheets after the first runs in Q3, only for Norris to take provisional pole in the dying moments. Verstappen overcame this, his 1:26.720 enough to better the McLaren driver by 0.241 seconds.
Norris is still rewarded with a front-row start, while rookie Oscar Piatri showed the team’s upgrades are working to maximum effect, despite not being fully completed, to qualify third.
The enhancements are significant enough that they’re taking three events to fully incorporate, with Norris running with about 75 per cent of them while Piatri has approximately 50 per cent.
Charles Leclerc will start from fourth on the grid and was only 0.044 seconds shy of Piastri’s time, while Carlos Sainz is one spot behind, having fallen just 0.012 seconds short of his Ferrari teammate.
George Russell, who was only 0.007 seconds off Sainz, out-qualified Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by 0.056 seconds, meaning third-placed Piastri and seventh-placed Hamilton were separated by just 0.119 seconds.
Williams impressed over all three practices ahead of the British Grand Prix, and Alex Albon was able to replicate his second-fastest FP3 result to qualify for Q3. Ultimately, a tight pole shootout saw him drop down the order, leaving him to start the race eighth.
Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10, the former only escaping Q1 by 0.019 seconds.
Nico Hulkenberg qualified as the fastest of the Haas drivers in 11th and will start next to Lance Stroll, who failed to fire in Q2. Esteban Ocon starts next to Logan Sargeant off the seventh row, while Valtteri Bottas failed to take to the track in Q2 after suffering an electrical failure at the end of Q1.
Bottas has since been disqualified from qualifying for having an insufficient fuel sample left in his Alfa Romeo. He will start from the back of the grid as a result.
This elevates Sergio Perez to 15th, with the Red Bull driver having been a surprise knockout in Q1, making it five events in a row where he has failed to qualify for Q3.
Other drivers eliminated in Q1 were Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu, Nyck De Vries and Kevin Magnussen, the latter causing a red flag after stopping on track. Hamilton was also in the wars on a damp but drying surface in the first run, spinning into the gravel at Stowe but able to rejoin.
The British Grand Prix starts at 1.00 am tomorrow and will be shown live on Sky Sport 5.
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