British GP | Hamilton on pole despite deleted lap time

Lewis Hamilton tops qualifying for pole position at the British Grand Prix.

Deleted times, Q1 elimination for Button and Hamilton on pole – qualifying for the British Grand Prix. Pushed all the way as Rosberg opened qualifying fastest overall, Hamilton had to dig deep to top qualifying after his Q3 time was deleted for exceeding track limits. 

Going into qualifying, the field was down to 21 as Marcus Ericsson was ruled out of the session following his high-speed crash in the final practice session. The impact left his car severely damaged and unable to be fixed in time. But Ericsson was ruled out of the session as he was taken to the hospital for precautionary checks.

The impact left his car severely damaged and unable to be fixed in time. While Ericsson was ruled out of the session as he was taken to the hospital for precautionary checks.

Following the red flag period for Ericsson’s Sauber, Vettel hit problems in practice himself – leaving him with a second successive 5-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

And on the back of a poor qualifying session by Vettel, the four-time champion will start tomorrow’s race down in 11th. As Hamilton begins the British Grand Prix from pole in a Mercedes front-row lock-out.

Q1

When the first stage of qualifying for the British Grand Prix went green, the two Manor’s of Wehrlein and Haryanto immediately hit the track. With Pascal leading his team-mate across the line, however Wehrlein suffered a kick of oversteer as he ran over the exit kerb at Luffield.

Wehrlein’s kick of oversteer caused the rear to overrun the track limits as he set the first timed lap of the session with a 1:34.298. A time bettered by his team-mate and Nico Rosberg, who edged practice topping Hamilton by 0.015 seconds.

Although Wehrelin’s time remained on the board, as stewards remove times set by the Renault’s of Palmer and Magnussen. With the pair exceeding track limits at Copse and Abbey respectively.

The removal of the Renault driver’s lap times left the pair rooted to the bottom of the board – ahead of non-competing Ericsson. Yet run two promoted Magnussen to 15th place before Palmer slotted into 14th.

At the front meanwhile, Mercedes led the session by half a second to Max Verstappen. With the Spanish Grand Prix winning Red Bull driver edging Raikkonen by two-hundredths of a second.

Improvements from Sergio Perez, before a majority of the field pitted, saw the Renault’s pushed into the drop zone. But final lap gains by Magnussen put the Renault into a Q2 place at the expense of Jenson Button.

Button, at his home Grand Prix, was in the pits as the final runs were completed – with McLaren mending Jenson’s rear wing. Gains by Magnussen and Kvyat, however, pushed Jenson out of qualifying in 17th place.

Q2

Before Q1 went green, Button darted down the pit lane from the FIA weigh bridge as it appeared Magnussen crossed the track limits during his final run. Kevin’s time, however, was not deleted and Jenson was out of qualifying in Q1.

For Q2 meanwhile Hamilton and Rosberg began the action with flying laps straight away. With Rosberg going top on a 1:29.970, before Hamilton bettered his team-mate’s time by seven-tenths of a second.

Hamilton’s 1:29.243, set on his race tyres, also set a new lap record for the Silverstone International Circuit used since 2010. Bettering Lewis’ own previous lap record around the circuit, set in qualifying for the 2013 British Grand Prix.

Like Q1, Verstappen set himself as the closest challenger to Mercedes – albeit 1.4-seconds down on Hamilton. With Vettel fourth, Ricciardo fifth and Bottas sixth.

On the cusp of the drop zone prior to any second runs, Alonso sat seven-hundredths of a second up on Perez for 10th. Fernando and Sergio’s times, 2.8-seconds off the Mercedes’ pace, were also ahead of Raikkonen – with the Ferrari yet to set a time.

When Raikkonen began his first timed lap, a mistake at Village saw the Finn go deep off track and forced Kimi to back off with time left for one last attempt.

Raikkonen’s final attempt, though, was more than enough to promote the Ferrari into the top 10 – securing sixth place, 2.1-seconds down on Hamilton.

Other drivers lapping late on also saw gains, with Perez moving into ninth place before Alonso pushed Sergio onto the cusp of elimination.

Carlos Sainz, though, came to the bain of Perez as he moved his Toro Rosso up to eighth – putting Perez out of qualifying in 11th. Massa too was out in Q2, ending the session 4-tenths down on Bottas.

Q3

First provisional qualifying runs by the Mercedes pair saw Rosberg take the top spot on a 1:29.606.

Nico’s lap may have been slower than Hamilton’s 1:29.339. But Lewis’ lap was deleted for going off at Copse – with Hamilton drifting just too far over the exit kerb.

Verstappen’s provisional lap time yet again placed him as ‘best of the rest’ in third, prior to Hamilton’s lap being deleted. With Ricciardo only able to finish his run three-tenths down to his team-mate.

Vettel too ended his first run half a second down on his team-mate. With the German driver, with a five-place grid penalty, having a moment through Stowe. Vettel again could not better his team-mate in the second runs, ending qualifying a full six-tenths behind the newly resigned Raikkonen.

As for the battle for pole, Hamilton was ahead of Rosberg on track as he looked to regain P1 after his provisional time was deleted. And despite putting all four wheels off the track again, this time at Luffield, Lewis ended his flying lap three-tenths of a second up on Rosberg.

With Hamilton back in the top spot, Rosberg needed to fly again if he was to secure pole for the British Grand Prix. But at the end of the first sector, Nico was one tenth down, found no improvements in the middle sector and ended his final lap four-tenths off of Hamilton’s pole time.

Late laps by Verstappen and Alonso – which placed the Red Bull third and the McLaren eighth – were also deleted. Putting Fernando in 10th, while Verstappen remained third fastest.

Pos Laps Q1 Q2 Q3
1 L. Hamilton 1:30.739 1:29.243 1:29.287
2 N. Rosberg 1:30.724 1:29.970 1:29.606
3 M. Verstappen 1:31.305 1:30.697 1:30.313
4 D. Ricciardo 1:31.684 1:31.319 1:30.618
5 K. Räikkönen 1:31.326 1:31.385 1:30.881
6 S. Vettel 1:31.606 1:30.711 1:31.490
7 V. Bottas 1:31.913 1:31.478 1:31.557
8 C. Sainz 1:32.115 1:31.708 1:31.989
9 N. Hülkenberg 1:32.349 1:31.770 1:32.172
10 F. Alonso 1:32.281 1:31.740 1:32.343
11 S. Pérez 1:32.336 1:31.875
12 F. Massa 1:32.146 1:32.002
13 R. Grosjean 1:32.283 1:32.050
14 E. Gutiérrez 1:32.237 1:32.241
15 D. Kvyat 1:32.553 1:32.306
16 K. Magnussen 1:32.729 1:37.060
17 J. Button 1:32.788
18 J. Palmer 1:32.905
19 R. Haryanto 1:33.098
20 P. Wehrlein 1:33.151
21 F. Nasr 1:33.544
22 M. Ericsson No time set