Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas took F1 British GP pole, beating Lewis Hamilton by 0.006s with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was third.
The Ferrari drivers showed its intentions in the first part of the F1 British GP qualifying at Silverstone with both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel opting to run solely on the medium compound as opposed to the softs chosen by their rivals.
It was Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton at the front though with a lap record to his name from Leclerc and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. Meanwhile, in the bottom half, it was a miss for Haas’ Kevin Magnussen after he was bumped out by Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.
The Dane was beaten by 0.013s after he couldn’t improve on his 1m26.662s lap due to a slight mistake. Behind him was Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat (1m26.721s) was 17th with Racing Point’s Lance Stroll (1m26.762s) also missing out in 18th.
The Canadian once again missed a Q2 run with Perez keeping a clean sheet against him like Williams’ George Russell (1m27.789s) in 19th ahead of Robert Kubica (1m28.257s) – the British racer getting into the 1m27s bracket.
The strategy game was similar for Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers to start with as five of the six drivers opted to set their best time on the medium compound apart from Vettel, who set his first timed lap on the soft compound to be only eighth.
The German actually ran an old set of the soft for his first run but he opted to use the same compound for his final outing as well to confirm the split strategy idea for Ferrari as Leclerc also improved on the soft compound to lead the session.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was second with Hamilton third but both the German team drivers and Red Bull are to start on the medium compound. It was a close fight for a Top 10 spot which saw both Alfa Romeo Racing drivers failing to make it in.
Antonio Giovinazzi (1m26.519s) was 11th as the Italian managed to beat teammate Kimi Raikkonen (1m26.546s) as McLaren’s Carlos Sainz (1m26.578s) was a big miss in 13th with Haas’ Romain Grosjean (1m26.757s) slotting in 14th and Perez (1m26.928s) 15th.
The final part of British GP qualifying had more dramas in store as Bottas took provisional pole with a 1m25.093s after Hamilton made a mistake on his first run but was still second from Verstappen. Ferrari lost ground with Leclerc only fourth and Vettel sixth.
It was close in the end and even though Bottas couldn’t make an overall improvement, the Finn held on to score his first British GP pole and his fourth of the 2019 F1 season, as Hamilton (1m25.099s) missed it by just a 0.006s in the end.
Leclerc (1m25.172s) was close to beating both the Mercedes drivers in his Ferrari but the Monegasque fell short by 0.079s to Bottas’ time as Verstappen (1m25.276s) and Gasly (1m25.590s) secured the third row ahead of Vettel (1m25.787s).
The battle for the midfield saw Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo (126.182s) in seventh ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m26.224s) with Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon (1m26.345s) ending up ninth from Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg (1m26.386s).