Mercedes teammates dominate British GP qualifying

A happy Hamilton waves to his fans
A happy Hamilton had led every session so far this weekend

The superior Aldo Costa designed Mercedes has dominated practice and qualifying for the British GP. The Mercedes is so planted in the corners everyone else are completely out to lunch.

After having his first run eliminated when he exceeded the track limits, Lewis Hamilton beat his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 0.297s to win the pole position.

It was the 4th British GP pole for Hamilton in front of a very large British crowd.

"Not the cleanest qualifying session, we had really good pace," said Hamilton. "The penultimate lap was a very good lap which was unfortunately taken away. I touched the curb, the car bottomed and it pulled me further wide. So a lot of pressure on that last lap but I knew I couldn't let the guys down. The second lap wasn't as good but I was cautious to make sure I got the lap in."

"It just wasn't the best day out there for me," said Rosberg. "Congrats to Lewis, he did the best job. But we are still there and we'll be pushing."

Max Verstappen was 3rd ahead of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Verstappen had reason to cheer, having out-qualified Ricciardo for the first time this year.

"Today was a very good qualifying, we were strong compared to our competitors. I can be very happy with P3, it seems like those guys [Mercedes] had a turbo button (for an extra 100 HP) at the end so this is a good result."

Raikkonen was 1.5sec behind Hamilton and his teammate Sebastian Vettel was a full 2.2 sec. behind Hamilton as the James Allison Ferrari falls further behind the Aldo Costa Mercedes.

To rub salt in Ferrari's wounds Vettel will serve a second successive five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change and will start 11th.

Vettel sustained a problem with the gearbox at the end of final practice at Silverstone, issuing a message over the radio in which he said: "OK, I think we failed the gearbox again."

Ferrari has changed the gearbox as a precaution, and is to investigate the matter next week, but it means Vettel will again drop five places for Sunday's race.


Mercedes GP

Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:29.287): "Firstly, I want to say how grateful I am for all the amazing fans that we have this weekend. Right from Thursday through to today, it's been the biggest crowd I think I've ever seen here. The wave of energy they send is just mesmerizing, so a big thank you to everyone out there. It wasn't the cleanest qualifying session. We had great pace all the way through – but I ran a bit wide on my first Q3 lap and had that time taken away. I just touched the curb and it really pulled me out there. I didn't even feel like I was going to be running wide until the car bottomed out and I just bounced outside the line, so then there was a lot of pressure on my final lap. 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. The fans give me more than enough motivation. Tomorrow will be a tough race, as always, and it's important we do our due diligence tonight and tomorrow morning to make sure we're on top of tires, strategy and so on. But my long run pace yesterday was strong and I feel like I've got the car in a good place underneath me in terms of balance for the race. I can't wait to see everyone out there again tomorrow!"

Nico Rosberg (2nd, 1:29.606): "The team has given us an incredible car. It really was a pleasure to drive out there today – especially through these spectacular high-speed corners where it's just awesome. It's like the car is on rails, which is just what you want as a driver, so a big thank you to everyone for that. It wasn't my day out there today – but congratulations to Lewis, who did an awesome job. Tomorrow is the day and it's all to play for and it will be a great battle between Lewis and me. There are some chances at the start and it will be interesting how the tire degradation will influence the strategy. Recently I've had good starts, so I'm looking forward to it. I'll definitely still be pushing for the win."

Paddy Lowe: "An absolutely fantastic contest between Lewis and Nico. Both showed great pace all day and in the end it boiled down to a straight fight between the two of them for pole. Both drivers managed to break the previous circuit record for this configuration of the Silverstone circuit – set by Lewis back in 2013 at the end of the V8 era – which is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved with this car. There were a few nerves amongst all of the teams with regards to track limits – including ourselves when Lewis had his first Q3 lap struck from the record. Fortunately, however, he was able to make amends with his final run with a brilliant lap. Our congratulations to both drivers on a great performance today – and also to everyone at Brackley and Brixworth, many of whom are here supporting the team today. We look forward to tomorrow and hopefully an exciting race for all of them."

Toto Wolff, Technical Director: "That was a nerve-wracking qualifying session that went down to the last meters of the final lap. After Lewis had his first time deleted in Q3, the pressure was on. But he was super calm, went out on track and nailed it. It's such a fine balance between taking pole and staying within those track limits – and when he performs under that pressure, you see why he is a triple World Champion. As for Nico, he did a great job too. The lost track time yesterday certainly wasn't an advantage for him but he took a strong P2. This track needs all-round performance from the chassis and engine and today's session shows we have both. Our long runs were good yesterday, so we will do our homework tonight and make sure to take our opportunities in the race tomorrow."


Ferrari is out to lunch this weekend
Ferrari is out to lunch this weekend

Kimi Raikkonen (5th, 1:30.881): "Fifth and sixth is not what we want, we are not happy with where we finished today, but this is the best we could achieve. We know our limits on this track and where we struggle, the circuit layout and the conditions don't make it very easy for us and we are a bit stuck with the things we can do. This afternoon the car felt the best it has been in the whole weekend, but obviously we were not fast enough. In Q2 I made it very difficult for myself, I spun at the start of my run with the first new set, and then locked the front wheel on the next one. At my last attempt I was able to make it through to Q3, but these things shouldn't happen. Race conditions are always different and can change a lot here, usually we are stronger in the race and hopefully tomorrow will be the same. We'll try to make a good start, make the tires work and take the right decisions."

Sebastian Vettel (6th, 1:31.490): "I'm not happy with my lap, the car was better than this morning. I was in a very good lap but I lost the car at Stowe in the first run, trying a bit too hard, then in the second one I went wide in Turn 1 and lost the car from there. On this track it seems we are a bit behind, I think we have done good steps in the past, but probably not enough, also compared to other people, so I think there's a lot of catching up for us to do. We need to make the car quicker, to put more downforce in it, make it more efficient at the same time, and add a bit of power. Replacing the gearbox is something we have to accept, and we did accept it going into the session. It's not something that is in your head when you start a race, I look forward for a good one tomorrow, the pace is there, we don't belong where we start the race, and that's why I'm quite sure we can make good progress. I hope for a good start, a good first lap and then we'll see. Maybe we'll have some rain, anyway we need to keep our head down, keep calm and just go racing and enjoy."


[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Valtteri Bottas (7th, 1:31.557): "I felt like I got everything out of the car today, which is always a nice feeling as a driver. I was hoping we could be closer to the front-runners. There is a little bit of a gap which we are working flat out for, so the thing to do now is to focus on the race. It's a new day tomorrow and weather may play a part in the race, so if we can get our tires to work better than in Austria, I'm sure we can have a good strategy for a good race."

Felipe Massa (12th, 1:32.002): "It definitely wasn't a good qualifying for me today, because it was hard to make the rear tires work in a way that wouldn't lose performance throughout my lap. Unfortunately, I couldn't put my lap together because of that. I was a little bit surprised because it's not the first time we've had these issues with the tires. Hopefully the car will be set-up in a way for the race tomorrow that the pace will be more consistent, because we need to try to make it work tomorrow."

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: "I think today's qualifying was representative of our pace around here, although we expected Felipe to be higher up the order to have both cars in the top ten. Qualifying seventh and 12th is not where we want to be, we simply need to fundamentally improve the car now. The car itself is reasonably well balanced around here and we've tried lots of different tire experiments to ensure that we extracted the most we could from it, as Valtteri did. Looking forward to tomorrow, we've got Valtteri in a decent position. I think our long run pace was reasonable on Friday so I'm quite happy about that. We've just got to try and push forward with both cars. We have some strategy options with Felipe, given he will have a free choice of starting tire just outside the top ten, so we'll see what we can do to challenge for some good points tomorrow."

Red Bull-Tag Heuer

Max Verstappen (3rd, 1:30.313): "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. From now on I will just focus on that and try to keep it up. I'm not focusing on trying to beat my team mate, the points come from the race so that is the important part for me. Silverstone is a great track and I always enjoy driving here. Going through Maggots and Becketts the car is fantastic, no oversteer, no understeer; it feels so nice going through those corners. The car has been performing brilliantly all weekend so I'm looking forward to the race. Hopefully we can maintain this position, it will be important to try and keep up and also keep fighting behind. If it rains we could be a lot closer to Mercedes but if not then we'll try to just keep position and we will be very happy with that."

Daniel Ricciardo (4th, 1:30.618): "As a team result it was definitely important to get the second row lock-out. That was our target and we got that so I think we look good for tomorrow. It's cool to have both of us in front of the Ferraris. I knew this would be a pretty big fight with them here and we managed to at least fight the Qualifying battle so we'll try and keep them behind us in the race tomorrow. Obviously, I would have preferred third rather than being fourth but that's how it is today and tomorrow we'll aim to go better and as good as we can. It's going to be cooler tomorrow and you never know what's going to happen, but I think we're pretty confident where we sit. The two Mercedes will probably fight at the front and behind them it should be a good battle. For sure Ferrari will give us a bit of a run for our money, so there is definitely that third spot up for grabs. You'll definitely see a race tomorrow."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A fantastic Qualifying session for the team, to lock out the 2nd row in tomorrow's grand prix at Silverstone, our local race, is very satisfying. It's a testament to how smartly all the team are working. Max put in a tremendous lap on his first run in Q3, and the wind seemed to pick up with not many cars able to improve their times, but Daniel came through just a few hundredths behind. To start from third and fourth on the grid in front of our factory staff, who come here to support and see their cars in action, is a real fillip as well as giving us a very strong starting position for tomorrow's race."

Force India-Mercedes

Nico Hulkenberg (9th, 1:32.172): "It looks like I will be starting from P8 and that's pretty much where we expected to be. It was very tight with McLaren and Toro Rosso in that session and the margins were very small. Unfortunately my final lap in Q3 was deleted because I ran a little bit wide through Copse corner and couldn't keep the car inside the track limits. Without that, I would have been a place higher up. I think the stewards are correct to insist on these track limits and it's something we discussed yesterday in the drivers' meeting, so you have to accept the penalty. Looking ahead to the race, there's talk of showers once again, and to be honest I don't mind if we get some rain because it would mix things up. Whatever happens, I just want to have a strong race and bring home some good points."

Sergio Perez (11th, 1:31.875): "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 tires and, if I can make a good start, we should be able to fight for some points. Overtaking is quite tricky here so the first few laps are very important and you need to get good track position. Degradation is high, but we have done a lot of work to manage it and we have a good understanding of the tires, so I think we can be competitive tomorrow."

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "A solid performance today on both sides of the garage. We had the pace to get both cars into Q3, but Sergio just missed the cut. However, starting from P8 and P10 gives us a good opportunity to score points at our home race. It's a shame that Nico's best effort from Q3 was deleted, but in the end it only cost him a place on the grid. For the race tomorrow we feel optimistic: our Friday simulations suggest we have competitive race pace and the car is working well with its latest updates. I would expect a dry race, but you never know what will happen at Silverstone and we will be ready to make the most of things come rain or shine."


Kevin Magnussen (16th, 1:37.060): "We had three sets of tires that we used for Q1 knowing that if we got through to Q2 we wouldn't be able to fight for much higher: our maximum today was P16 and Q2. On my first set of tires I went wide and over the track limits, which meant that I had my lap time deleted. On my third and final run I know that I didn't run wide. Then, for Q2, I didn't have any new tires so we went out and tried our maximum for the run in that second session. We extracted the most out of the car today in terms of set-up and using the tires. To make it into Q2 is probably more than we'd expected so I'm more than happy that the team is fighting as it does."

Jolyon Palmer (18th, 1:32.905): "It was a very difficult session. I had been feeling good in the car all weekend but the last set of tires didn't switch on for some reason. Until then I was feeling OK but I had really bad grip for the last run, couldn't improve and then missed out. I'm disappointed as I think there is more in there to improve. For the race it's the same plan as usual – you never know what will happen. We showed in the last Grand Prix that you can make up positions and in Russia we came through as well, but it's not going to be easy. The weather looks varied, which can be a help. We will keep our heads down and get on with it."

Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer: "The positions don't necessarily reflect the good progress we have made this weekend. We're not under any illusions that that is where we are right now. However the positions don't necessarily reflect the good progress we have made this weekend. We have improved the car on track and done some very useful work as well. Kevin got through to Q2 but we didn't have enough sets of tires to go out and have a real crack at a time. We went out just to set time in case someone in front gets penalized or had a problem. We will look through the data from Jolyon tonight, study what happened and work out why he didn't have the grip on the last set. We need to wait until the final qualifying classifications come out, as there may be some repositioning on the grid due to penalties for going over the track limits or other incidents. These may push us up a place or so. Even without moving up, I think we can have a good Grand Prix as our race pace has far been better than our qualifying. Provided we can hold position on the opening lap I think we can have a reasonable Grand Prix."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Carlos Sainz “I’m extremely happy with today’s qualifying result, especially after having had quite a tough Friday yesterday. We stayed until late last night to analyse all the data, we made a few changes on the car and today I felt very comfortable – we found half a second of performance that gave us the opportunity to fight for Q3. It’s incredible how tight the midfield is, but I did a good lap, managed to get that extra tenth and be the top car of the midfield teams. To start from P7 tomorrow is a great achievement for the whole team and I like to thank everyone for their constant hard work. We definitely needed a good qualifying after three comebacks in the last races! Tomorrow we start in a very good position, on the clean side of the grid, and hopefully we can keep going forward – it will be a tricky race for us as the cars around us have better pace, but we will definitely try to beat our competitors and fight for as many points as possible."

Danill Kvyat “How frustrating! I was held up by Magnussen from Turn 13 onwards during my lap in Q2, so my qualifying was unfortunately compromised… It would’ve been interesting to see what my lap would’ve looked like without this happening, but we were just stuck behind him. To start from P15 is disappointing and not what we were expecting, but the pace of the car isn’t bad so hopefully we can do a good race tomorrow."

James Key (Technical Director) “We had a mixed day yesterday regarding our performance – we expected to be reasonable here, as it’s a good downforce track with many high-speed corners – but yesterday we clearly had some balance issues in low-speed corners which were badly affecting us, but we seemed competitive everywhere else. We therefore needed to think very carefully overnight and in fact we made a very significant number of set-up changes on both cars to try and address this low-speed problem. I think that this morning it seemed to work reasonably well – not 100%, but it certainly got us into a better situation that we were yesterday and we seemed to be generally better. Carlos was certainly much happier with his car, while Daniil was generally happier, although we still had a few more steps to get it to get the lower speed balance to where we wanted it for him.

In Quali, Daniil didn’t have such a good initial lap in Q1, and as the session progressed the track evolution was quite strong, so we needed to send him out twice in the end on the Soft tyre to make sure of a place in Q2. His confidence was building as the session went on. During his final run of Q2 he was looking good and took quite a big step in lap time – his second sector was a lot better, picking-up a lot of confidence in the balance of the car – but towards the end of the run he got massively blocked by a slow car that added more than half a second onto his lap-time. We are very frustrated about that, as this type of thing shouldn’t happen in qualifying. The lap time prediction was right on the edge of Q3, so we will never know where we could have got too, but it was definitely a much better lap than his previous ones, it’s a shame as we lost Danii’s best lap due to that. Regarding Carlos, he got through Q1 with only a single run as planned. His Q2 was also good and I think the lap-time that he got through to Q3 with was competitive and gave us some hope to fight for a reasonable position. We had two runs in Q3, but we did not get quite as much as we hoped out of them which we need to look into further at this stage. Having said that, it was good to get a car into the top 10 and we seem to have made the steps needed for our slower speed performance problems. Our race pace yesterday was much better than single lap pace, so the hope is that we can use that to good effect tomorrow and have a good race."


Felipe Nasr (21st, 1:33.544):

Marcus Ericsson (22nd, No Time):

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal:


Fernando Alonso (10th, 1:32.343): "This weekend has been positive for us so far. We're still missing a little bit of speed along the straights, but we can fortunately compensate for that through the long corners around here. So I think we're in a position where we could score points tomorrow. In qualifying, we ultimately didn't have the speed to climb any higher in Q3; but starting ninth, following Sebastian's [Vettel] penalty, is a good place for us, particularly after two races with reliability issues. There's wet weather forecast for tomorrow, and some drops of rain in the middle of the race would make it more fun for me, so I think we're ready for anything that comes our way. I'd love to see two McLaren-Hondas in the points tomorrow."

Jenson Button (17th, 1:32.788): "It hasn't been a lucky weekend for me so far. One of the rear-wing endplates became detached from the floor on my first flying lap in Q1, and the rear end of the car slowly deteriorated for the remainder of the lap. It happened into Turn Eight, which is where the high-speed corners start, and where you need downforce, so I'm surprised I even did the lap time I did, to be honest. We tried to fix it in order go out again for a second run, but sadly we ran out of time. Still, I'm smiling because it is what is. We'll deal with it, and we'll come out of it stronger. I'll be hoping for rain and something unexpected to happen in the race, and I'm still aiming for points tomorrow."

Eric Boullier, Racing Director: "Today's qualifying session was a game of two halves, if you'll excuse the cliché. First of all, Jenson's rear-wing endplate unbonded itself from his car's floor, and the resulting damage took too long to repair to enable him to go for a second hot lap. That was a great pity, because Jenson was understandably keen to impress at his home grand prix. Fernando has been 'on it' all weekend, and he continued to perform extremely well in today's qualifying hour. He progressed through Q1 and Q2 with impressive sang froid, and duly recorded the eighth-fastest lap of the afternoon. However, he lost a lap owing to the 'track limits' rule, demoting him to P10, which will become P9 tomorrow as a result of Sebastian's penalty. Tomorrow's forecast is for showers in the afternoon – and, that being the case, bearing in mind the tried-and-tested brilliance of both our drivers in unsettled weather conditions, do not be surprised to see both Fernando and Jenson making good progress once the five red lights go out on the start-line gantry tomorrow afternoon. The British Grand Prix means a lot to all of us at McLaren-Honda, and we would be truly delighted if we were able to give our fans, who are undoubtedly the best fans in the world, something to cheer about."

Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda: "Today was further confirmation of our progress this season, despite a mixed final qualifying result. Fernando drove back into Q3 for the first time since Canada, with a brilliant final flying lap that put him P8 on the grid at this power-hungry Silverstone Circuit. Sadly his time was deleted due to exceeding the track limits, but he will start ninth on the grid due to Vettel's penalty. Unfortunately, Jenson had to settle for P17. He was unable to run for a second time in Q1 due to an unbounded rear-wing endplate from the floor, so we look forward to seeing him fight to gain positions in the race tomorrow."

Manor GP-Mercedes

Rio Haryanto (19th, 1:33.098): "Yes, I'm quite happy with that performance. We always knew that this track would be more difficult for us, but personally, for me, it was a strong and consistent lap. Yes, we managed to beat the Sauber, but we're not as close to Renault as we would like. Hopefully we will be a little stronger in the race tomorrow, as our long run pace is better."

Pascal Wehrlein (20th, 1:33.151): "I'm disappointed of course, but not surprised. I've been very aware that this is a very different circuit. We've been struggling with tire temperature here again and we tried many different things with the set-up to try to progress. I just wanted us to improve step by step but we didn't manage to find a solution unfortunately. In dry conditions, I'm afraid we don't have the car to do what we did in Austria. Our long run pace is a little better and then there's the weather forecast, which is quite unpredictable. Of course, we hope for crazy weather to work in our favor, because what last weekend showed is that we can make the best of situations. I'm looking forward to it, as always, and I'll do my best for the team's home crowd. I'm expecting a challenging day though."

Dave Ryan, Racing Director: "After the highs of Austria last weekend, today's performance probably feels quite disappointing. However, we've kept our own expectations in check all weekend and we were right to be more cautious here. This is not the same circuit and the track conditions are very different here at Silverstone. We managed to get the tires working well in Austria and the warm ambient temperatures helped that, but today we've struggled to keep temperature in the tires. Unfortunately, that's as we predicted. Of course, we're hopeful of better things in the race tomorrow and that's what we'll be pushing for."


Romain Grosjean (13th, 1:32.050): "I think the top-10 for us is sometimes a bit optimistic in qualifying. We're always better in the race. In qualifying, we're still missing a few things that we can improve, but it takes a bit of time. We had added a bit of front flap. It was maybe a bit too much. The conditions out there were also tricky today. The wind picked up a little bit at the end. It caused me a big snap into turn 15 (Stowe). The wind can really change the balance of the car here, depending on the direction. If we hadn't had that, then we could've been closer to moving into Q3. Thirteenth for tomorrow is not the worst place to start the race. If our long-run pace is good, that should help us."

Esteban Gutierrez (14th, 1:32.241): "Q1 was pretty good. I struggled a little in the beginning with the tires, but then things started to get underway. In Q2, I had traffic in the first stint, which wasn't ideal. During the second stint, the wind picked up and it became a little gusty out there, which didn't allow us to extract the maximum from the car. However, we were pushing all the way, getting everything out of it that we could. We're optimistic. We've done a good job as a team, so I'm confident that tomorrow will be a great race."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "A good team effort, 13th and 14th. We are always very close to getting into Q3, and that's certainly one of our aims over the next few qualifying sessions. We are making progress. The team worked very well and the drivers did a great job. We're consistent in our performance, so I'm sure we'll be up there soon enough. Overall, I'm happy with the result today. Tomorrow we're going to go for points, and I think we're in a strong position to get them."


Pos Driver Car/Engine Time Behind
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes/Mercedes 1m29.287s 0.000s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes/Mercedes 1m29.606s 0.319s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m30.313s 1.026s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m30.618s 1.331s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari/Ferrari 1m30.881s 1.594s
6 Sebastian Vettel* Ferrari/Ferrari 1m31.490s 2.203
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m31.557s 2.270s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m31.920s 2.633s
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m31.989s 2.702s
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m32.343s 3.056s
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m31.875s Q2
12 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m32.002s Q2
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m32.050s Q2
14 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m32.241s Q2
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m32.306s Q2
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault/Renault 1m37.060s Q2
17 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m32.788s Q1
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault/Renault 1m32.905s Q1
19 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m33.098s Q1
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m33.151s Q1
21 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m33.544s Q1
22 Marcus Ericsson** Sauber/Ferrari No Time NT

*5-grid penalty – transmission change
**Crashed in practice – No Time

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