Lewis Hamilton drives his silver lightsaber to a 55th pole at Silverstone
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News July 09, 2016 Updated: 4:33 PM
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed pole number 55 ahead of the British Grand Prix. He is now 10 away from tying his idol and F1 legend, Ayrton Senna in all time pole positions.
It wasn’t an easy day for Hamilton as his first initial lap attempt was deleted for exceeding track limits, but the “Jedi Knight” put his head down and finished with a 1:29.287 in front of his home crowd. Hamillton’s teammate Nico Rosberg was three tenths off, finishing with a time of 1:29.606.
“I was just sitting there in the garage thinking “I can’t let these guys down”. The second lap didn’t feel quite as good but I was a bit more cautious – making sure I got the lap on the board. I’m grateful that I managed it and grateful to the team too for all their hard work in giving us the performance we have this weekend,” said Hamilton.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished third with a time of a 1:30.313, which was enough to beat his teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth for Ferrari and was just 0.2s faster than his teammate Sebastian Vettel. But Vettel will drop five places to 11th once the penalty is applied for his gearbox change.
“I think the whole weekend we have been pretty strong and that resulted in a really good Qualifying, the best of my F1 career to date and definitely the best we could do today. Sometimes I have been very unlucky in Qualifying but today has gone well and I was able to show my potential,” said Verstappen.
This will move Valtteri Bottas (Williams) up to sixth ahead of Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), and Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda). Hulkenberg and Alonso had their fastest times deleted for exceeding track limits, with Alonso dropping from eighth to tenth as a result.
Hulkenberg’s teammate Sergio Perez almost made it to Q3 by 0.105s, but will start 10th ahead of Vettel. Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez finished 13th and 14th ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Renault’s Kevin Magnussen.
“The changes we made to the car after final practice helped us take a step in the right direction. Missing out on Q3 was not ideal, especially by such a small margin, but I am confident we can make good progress in the race. We have the advantage of being the first car with a free choice of tyres and, if I can make a good start, we should be able to fight for some points,” said Perez.
Mclrean-Honda driver Jenson Button didn’t make it to Q1 after only getting one lap in the session. Button will start 17th ahead of Jolyon Palmer, with the Manors of Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein in 19th and 20th ahead of the remaining Sauber of Felipe Nasr. His teammate Marcus Ericsson will start from the back of the grid after a nasty accident in FP3.