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Hamilton takes pole for home British Grand Prix

Reuters/London
Filed on August 1, 2020
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton reacts after qualifying in pole position. (Reuters)

The pole was the 91st of Hamilton's career and seventh at Silverstone

Six times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton put Mercedes on pole position for his home British Grand Prix in a track record time on Saturday.

The 35-year-old, who is chasing a record seventh win at Silverstone on Sunday, was joined on the front row by Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas with Red Bull's Max Verstappen qualifying third.

The pole was the 91st of Hamilton's career and seventh at Silverstone.

It was also a record eighth successive Mercedes pole success in Britain on a day when they were clear of their nearest rivals Red Bull by a full second, Max Verstappen taking third place on the grid ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Rising British star Lando Norris, 20, was fifth for McLaren ahead of Lance Stroll in Racing Point's 'pink Mercedes', Carlos Sainz in the second McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo and his Renault team-mate Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel, who was 10th for Ferrari.

"This track is awesome! But it is tough out there - with the winds, it is like juggling balls on a moving plate," said a delighted Hamilton.

"I had a spin and as you know qualifying is all about confidence and I was struggling in the first sectors of every lap, but I took some deep breaths, composed myself and in Q3 I had a clear lap and the second one was even better!"

He added that it was strange to drive without any fans in the circuit. "Usually, it's all sirens, flags and smoke and the atmosphere is buzzing - you get out of the car and have a different energy so I miss them, but I hope everyone is safe and happy at home."

Bottas said: "It was a pretty good day until Q3 when I started to drift a bit with the rear - Lewis found a bit more than me and he deserved the pole.

"He managed to win from P2 last year with a different strategy to mine so I hope I get opportunities tomorrow."

Verstappen admitted Mercedes were untouchable. "They are just way too fast. You have to expect that and do the best you can - and that's P3."

After Friday's sweltering heat, Q1 began in cool and breezy conditions with the air temperature hovering at a moderate 22 degrees and the track at 41.

Kimi Raikkonen set the first timed lap in front of the empty grandstands and neatly mown fields, but it was soon trimmed by the usual suspects as Hamilton and then a very committed Bottas went top.


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