The Saturday in F1 British GP was slightly chaotic with rain in the air and couple of big shots got knocked out to give three British drivers in the Top 3.

The damp conditions at Silverstone played a role in F1 British GP after qualifying started on the intermediate tyres and changed to slicks which made it intense in Q1. But the likes of Mercedes and McLaren remained calm all-through to take top spot.

But for Mercedes to have 1-2 finish on Saturday was unexpected especially after the practice they had. George Russell found pace as the session progressed to take pole from teammate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris to make it British 1-2-3.

Norris lost out due to his mistake as teammate Oscar Piastri had similar issues. Despite the floor damage costing him a lot of time, Max Verstappen ended up fourth with teammate Sergio Perez knocked out in Q1 after getting beached in the gravel.

It was not a good outing for the Ferrari camp either after Charles Leclerc was knocked out in Q2 as after trialing different set-ups all-weekend, they reverted to the same one. It didn’t help the Monegasque as he had little time to get back in line.

Teammate Carlos Sainz made it through but couldn’t penetrate his rivals. The loss for one Red Bull and Ferrari helped both the Aston Martin cars of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll to be inside the Top 10 after a better show from the F1 team.

Russell: “This is definitely one of the best feelings I’ve ever had on a Saturday afternoon. The car was just insane. When we went out in Q3, it just really came alive and without doubt, one of the best feelings I’ve ever had driving this circuit and crossing the line, seeing my name in P1, and then seeing we’re both on the front row. We couldn’t have even dreamt of that after the first three or four races. Yeah, it feels good. From Turn 6 to Turn 9, I gained a lot. Turn 6 and 7 were mega. There’s a big headwind through there so I braked really, really late and I just could carry the speed through the corners. But it was just on rails, the car. I just felt so confident in it. Q3, we really turned it up because Q1 and Q2 were very, very challenging. I felt like I was about to get knocked out at various points. The track improved in every single lap. And probably going into Q3 was the most pressure I’ve ever felt in a qualifying session because the whole Q1 and Q2 runs, it was like on the verge of getting knocked out every single occasion.

“And I wasn’t feeling that confident with myself. But as soon as I went through Turn 1 and 2 in Q3, I felt good and managed to do the laps. I think realistically we know we’re probably a tenth or two behind Lando and Max, but I think we’ve got a good fight on our hands. But the weather’s going to play a huge part in that. You know, it’s been raining and drying up throughout the last couple of days. There’s a bit of rain on the forecast tomorrow. We’re probably on course for another Montreal-style race where it’s going to be very changeable. So it’s going to be a long race. As I said, we’re riding this wave right now, but it doesn’t mean anything because tomorrow is where the points are scored. But we’re obviously in a great position to fight for victory.”

Hamilton: “It was a great session. Naturally, the best session that we’ve had as a team to just have the real pace and be able to actually compete with the McLarens and the Red Bulls, I think is incredibly satisfying, just really a huge boost for the team. And the car felt great, as George was saying, a huge congratulations to George for getting the pole. But to be on the front row, I think, is massive for our team. So many of them are here this weekend with their families. And it’s been a long time since we’ve had it. So this is a great feeling. I think I was cautious with my set-up, more thinking to have a nice balance in the race rather than all for one particular lap. So I do think that the car will be good tomorrow, yeah.”

Norris: “I was already a tenth-and-a-half down, so it’s tough. I think, you know, George and Lewis have done a great job for the two cars to be up there. Shows that the team are also doing an amazing job. It was super close. I think if I put in a good enough lap, it was close and within a bit of a fight. But, no, they’ve seemed very quick all weekend since FP1, like George said, so there or thereabouts, but I just didn’t deliver it. I think even if you look at last year, Mercedes were probably one of the quickest in the race. If not potentially the quickest. So I expect them to be very quick tomorrow, especially as they can look after their front tyres very well. They have a very good front end. And I think that’s going to be a good saviour for them tomorrow. But again, like George said, the conditions are going to be tricky. But we’re there.

“We’ve been very quick in the races over the last two months. It’s probably been one of our strengths. It’s been actually race pace over quali pace. But this is a very different type of circuit. It’s a very different layout. But it’s still a strength. And hopefully it comes back towards us a little bit tomorrow. I’m sure Max is going to be racing us tomorrow, but I’ve still got two other guys I’ve got to worry about, so I don’t care just about Red Bull. I think our strategy has been very good over the last two months, so I’m happy. The team are doing a good job and therefore I’m confident we can execute a good race. We need good pace. We need to be able to race well. I need to pass two guys if that’s going to be on the cards. So, yeah, confident from what we know and what we’ve seen over the last few races that we can go forwards.”

Verstappen: “Initially it was 100 [points], which is a lot. We got it down a little bit, but it was a lot. Q1, that off was super unlucky. I came out of Turn 7 heading towards Copse and it started to rain. So, I knew that the people in front of me didn’t have that rain patch and, of course, they were on slicks. I knew in Q1 we needed that slick lap in, because you never know if it is going to rain more and then the session is over. Naturally, I tried to keep the speed up. I did slow down knowing it was raining on my visor, but it still snapped on me and then I had to try and keep it out of the wall, going offline. I had to take the gravel which ripped the floor apart. Missed quite a few bits on the car, even though the team did do quite a good job in trying to recover some of the bits and trying to optimise the balance front to rear – that basically ruined our qualifying.

“I was happy to be in Q3 with the damage that we had, and to be P4 is probably a bit of a positive surprise. It was still not bad. I had a little moment at Turn 4 but honestly, they kept on repairing the floor, so the balance was shifting every lap. I was changing things on my wheel every lap to try and find a better compromise. So probably, in some bits, we tipped it over the edge to compensate but it was still a good lap. I tried to push it to the limit, tried to really use the track wherever I could because naturally in the high-speed, the load wasn’t there, and I was going slower in some corners compared to practice. But yeah, it was the best we could do with that damage, I think.”

Perez: “Really, really tricky, very difficult, especially in the beginning. As I was trying to warm up the tyres going into Turn 9 [Copse] when I downshifted, I basically lost the rear end quite badly and I went out of the track on cold tyres, and it was completely sunk of water outside of the track, so I just ended up going into the gravel. I couldn’t stop the car, I couldn’t go straight – a very unfortunate incident. No, no no no, that has nothing to do with it, I’m fully focused on my job. I’m fully focused on getting the performance out of myself. I know where I can be, yesterday we had a very positive day, things were looking in the right direction, so yeah, head down and it’s a matter of time before we turn around the situation.”

Leclerc: “We are just struggling a lot at the moment. I felt like yesterday, we learned a good amount for the team by splitting the cars, that comes also with the fact that you are not really optimising your weekend and focusing on performance only. Obviously today we lost Q3 by a 10th and it was the first time I was driving with this configuration on the dry after FP3 in the wet. So all in all, we are struggling to optimise the weekend but I think that it will help us long term, what we’ve done yesterday, however, I feel like we’re paying a little bit the price today. I won’t go too much into detail but for sure we’ve lost some performance since Monaco, as a matter of fact, and we are looking into it.

“That’s also why we are doing all these tests. We came to the conclusion that it was the right choice to come back for this weekend mostly because of bouncing and we’ll take the right decision for the future very soon. What we’ve done yesterday was very helpful to help us take the right decision going forward in a similar position to this. Mercedes is in front, McLaren is in front, Red Bull is in front and we are the ones that have been struggling since a few races, too many races. We need to bounce back and try and find the balance and just the performance that is in the car that we don’t quite find. The rain hopefully or anything can help us. The worst thing would be a normal race with the same strategy for everybody.”

Alonso: “Two cars in Q3 is a strong result for us today, especially in such tough conditions. The changes we made to the car after Austria have been beneficial and seem to have made the car easier to drive. My final flying lap was a bit messy – I think we could have managed a little more – so it’s a bit frustrating but the times are super close out there. This is an uplifting result for the team and we’ll try and capitalise on it tomorrow. Who knows what the British weather will bring.”

The Top 10 also featured Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg who barely made it out Q1 after the red flag. The German eventually made it into Q3 but teammate Kevin Magnussen didn’t get another lap in, in Q1 as the team felt rain would fall which didn’t arrive.

Williams’ Alexander Albon breathed a sigh of relief to be inside the Top 10, while Logan Sargeant also had a good run in 12th especially after recent struggles. It wasn’t so good for the likes of Visa Cash App RB, Alpine and Stake F1 Team drivers.

While the former had both Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda in Q2, but they weren’t happy with their run. For Alpine, Pierre Gasly didn’t run as much due to penalty but there was a communication gap with Esteban Ocon which left him stranded, as Valtteri Bottas felt a bit letdown after not progressing to Q2.

Hulkenberg: “It’s okay. Last week we had one good one, one bad one, this weekend one good one. We just managed to take the momentum and the tailwind from last week into this weekend. Plus I think the upgrades we produced yesterday afternoon in did the rest and they really had an effect. I really felt a gain with them straight away, which was obviously very good and not always the case. So good job to the team and very happy about that. Quali was good; Q1 was a little bit too close for comfort with only one lap and the red flag with Checo and our timing, we got a little out of sync with everyone else. That was a bit sketchy but otherwise a good clean session.

“To be honest, I feel a lot and good confidence, so that allows me to produce the laps. Even if I only have one, they come out pretty well, which is obviously good. I enjoy that feeling; I always try to hold onto it for as long as possible. I know it’s not always like that, so you have to use it while it lasts. I think definitely that we should be able to fight for points,” he said. “Obviously we have the Astons there in the top 10, who probably is our main competition tomorrow. The Ferraris start behind, but I don’t see any scenario where we can keep them behind, because I think race pace wise, they still have quite a lot over us in hand. But points, definitely we’re in the fight for that.”

Albon: “We had a great car to be honest and managed to hold on into Q3, with the weather keeping everyone on their toes. I think I picked up a little damage on my Q2 lap, so was slightly compromised in Q3, however it was nothing major. I’m not sure if P8 was on the cards but I’m very happy. I think after a tough few races, I enjoyed that. We’ve not quite been on the pace all weekend, struggling with a certain balance limitation in the car but I think the track temperatures helped us as the tyres were able to last a bit longer. With potential mixed conditions tomorrow, it will be a fun race with a few different strategies so hopefully, we can fight for some good points.”

Ricciardo: “I’m not particularly happy with today’s qualifying; it wasn’t a good session, and this is something we need to figure out. Both runs in Q2 didn’t go as expected, and we struggled to get the lap in, leading me to do some overtaking in the last corner, which is something I hate when people do it to me. I started my last push lap a couple of seconds behind Zhou, and with the dirty air, you’re never going to get a good lap. The last three weekends haven’t been easy, but we found a way to make it work. Coming into Silverstone with the same struggles has also added to today’s frustrations because we don’t have the luxury to be able to get things wrong. We’ll address all we need during tonight’s debrief and look ahead at the race.”

Bottas: “We made some good calls today, so it’s disappointing to get knocked out in Q1. We were in a good position and in the top ten until the very last attempt, but sometimes it’s just like a roulette in these conditions. The rain made it very tricky, and it was a challenge to keep on track and squeeze all from the car, especially as the grip changed every lap. We were among the first to go to slicks before the red flag, and we had a good position at the top of the queue at the restart; however, conditions improved at the very end, the others could find something more and we couldn’t. Luck went against us today, but I feel we are in a better place for the race. It’s hard to say how conditions will be, but we’ll be ready for anything.”

Ocon: “It was a complicated session with the drying track and stoppage for the red flag, but ultimately, we did not optimise our Qualifying today. We did not take the right decisions at the right time, and we seemed to be offset compared to the others, and not pushing when the track was probably at its best. Then there was some confusion at the end where I thought we had one more push lap and I was told to abort the lap. In the end, it is a frustrating day that we did not maximise and one that we need to review. It will be a difficult race tomorrow given our starting position. We will try our best to move forward, especially if the weather stays like it is with changeable conditions.”

Here’s how F1 British GP qualifying panned out

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