British F1 Grand Prix 2018 Qualifying: Lewis Hamilton on Pole at Silverstone

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2018

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton drives during the second practice session at Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 6, 2018 ahead of the British Formula One Grand Prix. (Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position at the Formula One British Grand Prix after a tremendous qualifying performance on Saturday.

The Mercedes man posted a time of one minute, 25.892 seconds, putting him ahead of Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

Earlier in the day it was Hamilton on top in a final practice session. The hour was punctured by a red flag, though, as Brendon Hartley suffered a huge smash in his Toro Rosso.

Vettel leads Hamilton by one point in the race for the 2018 world championship. Here's a recap of how the action played out on Saturday at Silverstone, with an absorbing race surely in store on Sunday.    

Qualifying Recap

Here is how the grid will shape up for Sunday's race:

Frustratingly for the drivers, the session was stopped before it really get going. That was after Lance Stroll made an error in Q1, leaving him stuck in the gravel and bringing our the red flags. It means the Canadian will start from the pit lane on Sunday.

A miserable first session continued for Williams, as Sergey Sirotkin also spun off the circuit and left himself with too much to do to make it beyond Q1. Carlos Sainz was also a shock elimination in the first round.

As noted by Mo Stewart of The Anfield Wrap, for Williams, traditionally so good at this circuit, it was a qualifying to forget:

In Q2 there were no major shocks, although there was another impressive performance from Sauber's Charles Leclerc, who made it into the top-10 shootout again. Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg were big names to miss out.

The WTF1 Twitter account praised Leclerc, who has been excellent throughout the season:

All eyes then turned to the final qualifying runs, with a straight battle between the two Ferraris and two Mercedes drivers seemingly on the cards for pole.

In the first runs Hamilton laid down a mighty marker of 1:25.993, beating the time of Raikkonen. It was a mark his team-mate Bottas was unable to better, although Vettel, running last of the four rivals, pipped the home favourite by five hundredths of a second to put him on provisional pole.

Hamilton edged out Vettel on Saturday with his last lap.
Hamilton edged out Vettel on Saturday with his last lap.Mark Thompson/Getty Images

When they emerged again, it was Hamilton who was first to post a second time and jumped ahead of the his rival, much to the delighted of the packed grandstands.

It was too quick for Bottas and too quick for Vettel on his second Q3 effort. Raikkonen did threaten to better the mark, as he went purple in the first sector. But he was only good enough for third in the end, meaning Hamilton will have two red Ferraris in close proximity in Sunday's start.

FP3 Recap

These are the standings from the early runs on Saturday:

Having crashed out of second practice on Friday, Max Verstappen would have been hoping to get some valuable track time in FP3 in his Red Bull.

Even so, as F1 journalist Luke Smith noted, the young Dutchman didn't appear to be holding anything back as he stormed around this circuit:

The action in FP3 was then ground to a halt following a huge crash involving Toro Rosso's Hartley.

As he headed into Brooklands and applied the breaks, his left-front suspension completely gave way and his car careered off the track, into the gravel and smashed against the wall. Thankfully, Hartley was quick to confirm on the team radio that he was fine, with the action red flagged.

Sky Sports F1 provided footage from the smash:

Meanwhile, the Fake Charlie Whiting account lamented the misfortune the man from New Zealand has been suffering with as of late:

When the action started again, so did the battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, as both teams sought to find an advantage ahead of qualifying.

Raikkonen had initially appeared to have put in the fastest lap of the session with a blistering 1:26.815. However, much to the delight of the swelling crowd at Silverstone, home hope Hamilton came out for another dash before the end of the stint and usurped the Finn at the top of the standings.

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