Who Was the Last Non-Mercedes F1 Driver to Take Pole at Silverstone Before Max Verstappen?

Published 07/18/2021, 8:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after winning sprint qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


Max Verstappen won the inaugural sprint race in F1 to take pole position for today’s British Grand Prix. Although Mercedes showed an improvement in pace, Lewis Hamilton couldn’t keep the Dutchman at bay despite starting ahead of him.

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By taking pole at Silverstone, Verstappen halted the qualifying dominance of Mercedes at this track. For the first time in nine years, the Silver Arrows did not take pole position at the British Grand Prix this weekend.

Fernando Alonso was the last non-Mercedes driver to take pole at Silverstone

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The dominance of the defending champions at Silverstone is incredible. Prior to this weekend, the Silver Arrows took pole position in every edition of the race since the inception of the hybrid era; Nico Rosberg took pole at Silverstone in 2013, which began their streak of pole positions here.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during practice REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

However, their dominance doesn’t stop at qualifying. Excluding 2018, Hamilton has won each edition of the British Grand Prix since 2014. Sebastian Vettel, who raced for Ferrari in 2018, is the only other winner of the race in the hybrid era.

Ferrari also took the last non-Mercedes pole at Silverstone, with Fernando Alonso doing the deed in 2012. Although he started from pole, Mark Webber won the race that year to mark Red Bull‘s last British Grand Prix victory.

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Can Max Verstappen break Lewis Hamilton’s dominance at Silverstone?

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Despite Hamilton outqualifying Verstappen to pole on Friday, the Dutchman flew off the line to win yesterday’s sprint race. If Red Bull needed to prove their title credentials any further, yesterday’s sprint race couldn’t make it any clearer. Although Verstappen didn’t win the British Grand Prix last season, he won the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on the same track.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after winning sprint qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

On the back of four consecutive wins, the Dutchman looks an outright favorite to break Hamilton’s winning streak here. However, one cannot count the Briton out with a capacity crowd cheering him on from the stands.

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WATCH STORY: Top 5 Wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 Career

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Sanket Nair

331 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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