Lewis Hamilton takes pole position for British Grand Prix

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

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

Lewis Hamilton set a new track record at the British Grand Prix and clinched a record-extending 91st pole position on Saturday.

"This track is just awesome,” the 35-year-old Hamilton said. “It’s like juggling balls when you’re on a moving plate.”

"They were just way too fast,” Verstappen said of Mercedes. “You just have to accept that and do the best you can.”

Charles Leclerc gave Ferrari a small boost with fourth ahead of Lando Norris, who could face a grid penalty after failing to slow down under a yellow flag in the second part of qualifying when Hamilton made a rare mistake. He span his car and sent gravel spraying, bringing the session to a brief halt after Bottas had set the quickest time.

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Vettel, who had problems with understeering and almost went off the track toward the end of Q3, was only 10th fastest in qualifying.

Red Bull’s Alexander Albon finished 12th ahead of Racing Point’s last-minute replacement Nico Hulkenberg. He lost his seat in F1 this year, and is driving because Sergio Perez tested positive for the coronavirus following a trip back to his native Mexico after his mother had an accident.

Nicolas Latifi’s Williams span off the track near the end of Q1, the latest incident in the Canadian driver’s difficult start in F1.

"It’s just a driver error, no excuses,” he said.

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Kimi Raikkonen and Kevin Magnussen were also among the five drivers eliminated from Q1. Earlier, Bottas posted the fastest time in third and final practice ahead of Hamilton and Verstappen in somewhat cooler conditions following Friday’s stifling heat.

Vettel was a miserable 14th, once again coming into the garage for repairs after a similar problem with the car’s pedals on Friday.

The fourth race of the season is again being held without fans because of virus restrictions.

"It doesn’t feel like a British Grand Prix in that respect,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. “The atmosphere obviously isn’t here.”

Mercedes won the first three races, Bottas clinching the season-opener in Austria and Hamilton winning the next two in Austria and Hungary. Like Austria, Britain is hosting back-to-back races at Silverstone.

Front row

1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes), 2. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes)

2nd row

3. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull), 4. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)

3rd row

5. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren), 6. Lance Stroll (CAN/Racing Point)

4th row

7. Carlos Sainz (ESP/McLaren), 8. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Renault)

5th row

9. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Renault), 10. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari)

6th row

11. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpha Tauri), 12. Alexander Albon (THA/Red Bull)

7th row

13. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Racing Point), 14. George Russell (GBR/Williams)

8th row

15. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas), 16. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo)

9th row

17. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Alfa Romeo), 18. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas)

10th row

19. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Alpha Tauri), 20. Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams)

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