British GP Qualifying Report: Hamilton Takes F1 Pole But Russell Steals Limelight at Silverstone

Published 07/16/2021, 2:02 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during practice REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge


Lewis Hamilton managed to end Red Bull’s dominance by denying his rival, Max Verstappen P1 by a fine margin at Silverstone. Hence, the two title contenders slot themselves onto the front row for the first-ever sprint race in F1.

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Behind the duo is Valtteri Bottas, and surprisingly, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who lock out the second row. Meanwhile, the other Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez ended up in P5 after getting his lap time deleted. Lando Norris continued his excellent run of form by placing himself on a commendable P6 ahead of his teammate.

However, the real limelight was on the young British driver, George Russell, who delivered an impressive lap time to put Williams up into P8.

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Q3 – Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton

The 10-minute session went underway, as most of the drivers rushed onto the track. The first run ended up going to Hamilton, who got himself onto provisional P1 on the grid for the sprint race.

Verstappen, on the other hand, complained of understeer, as the Dutchman lapped 0.17s slower than the Mercedes driver. McLaren drivers looked like the fastest mid-field team, as they provisionally slotted themselves onto the 3rd row.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

However, the duo was pushed down to P6 and P7 respectively, as Leclerc jumped into P4. Perez squeezed himself into P5. Russell delivered his best ever qualifying session for Williams, as he slotted himself into P8 ahead of Sainz and Vettel.

Q2 – Russell Makes it into Q3, as Alpine F1 drivers exit

Mercedes drivers marched their way onto the track, as lights went green for the second part of qualifying. After leading the pack for a brief moment, Verstappen yet again stole the limelight, by ousting Hamilton by o.1s.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during qualifying REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Perez held on to P4 while his Aston Martin successor, Vettel slotted himself behind him in P5, with just 0.03s separating the two drivers. Down in the relegation zone, Giovinazzi wasn’t competitive enough to post a strong lap time as he ended up P14 ahead of a struggling Stroll.

Alonso and his Alpine teammate, Ocon, missed out on Q3, having managed just P11 and P13, respectively. Between the two was Gasly.

But, the biggest surprise was undeniably the ‘Mr. Saturday’ Russell, who made his way into Q3 for the second time in a row. This meant that all 3 British drivers managed to get into the top 10 on home soil.

Q1 – Surprise AlphaTauri F1 driver exit

Norris initially topped the timesheet with a 1:28:277, around 0.2s quicker than Giovinazzi, who surprisingly managed to outpace most of the rival mid-field drivers. Then arrived the lap times from Mercedes and Red Bull drivers.

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Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Williams’ George Russell in action during qualifying REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

Verstappen delivered a mind-blowing lap that ended up being 0.4s quicker than his title rival Hamilton and over 0.7s than the other Mercedes of Bottas. Meanwhile, both Alpine and Ferrari looked feisty with their respective drivers posting commendable lap times on the board.

Ultimately, it was yet another Q2 miss for the Haas drivers, as they line up at the back of the grid for Saturday’s sprint race. Tsunoda managed a disappointing P16, ahead of Raikkonen and Latifi.

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Overall, that was a magnificent qualifying session on this grand British Grand Prix weekend. But, the real excitement has barely started; the much-awaited sprint race is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. So, who is actually going to secure the pole position for Sunday’s main race?

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Rohit Kumar

910 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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