Brilliant Bottas beats Hamilton to British GP pole by just 0.006s
The fans were out in force for home favourite Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone on Saturday afternoon – but in the end it was Mercedes’ other driver who stole the show. In an enthralling qualifying session, Valtteri Bottas beat Hamilton to pole position by just 0.006s – the smallest margin in almost a decade.
Hamilton had been seeking a record seventh pole in his home race, but after making a mistake on his first run, he couldn’t claw back enough time on his second effort, and had to settle for second ahead of a flying Charles Leclerc, the top three covered by just 0.079s.
The Ferrari driver had set two purple sectors on his last Q3 effort, but lost ground in the final sector and will start P3, alongside the man who beat him to victory in Austria two weeks ago – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel – the winner here last year – could only manage the sixth-best time, beaten to fifth by the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo emerged as best of the rest outside the top three teams, seeing off the challenge of impressive British-born rookies Lando Norris and Alex Albon, who were eighth and ninth for McLaren and Toro Rosso respectively, ahead of the other Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.