F1 – Russell Takes Pole For Home British Grand Prix Ahead Of Hamilton And Norris

George Russell led an all-British top three in qualifying for the British Grand Prix with the Mercedes driver beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just under two tenths of a second as Lando Norris took third for McLaren. Drivers’ Championship leader Max Verstappen will start fourth after his qualifying was compromised by floor damage sustained in an early off.

At the start of Q1, on a damp track and on Intermediate tyres, Verstappen took top spot with a lap of 1:37.518, with Norris a tenth off in P2. They were soon shuffled back by Mercedes George Russell who took top spot with his second flyer, but the track was rapidly drying and Charles Leclerc quickly headed back to the pits for a set of slick Soft tyres.

That prompted Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez to make the same switch but on a still slippery track he suffered a snap of oversteer going into Copse corner and though he managed to save that he lost control in the run-off and slid backwards into the gravel where he exited the session and the red flags came out.

After a nine-minute halt the session resumed with all drivers on Softs. But as McLaren’s Oscar Piastri took P1 with a lap of 1:30.895, Verstappen almost suffered the same fate as his team-mate. A snap in Copse sent the Red Bull driver off track and though he was able to keep going, a thumping trip through the gravel trap caused floor damage that would have a major impact on the rest of his session.

With improvements flooding in elsewhere, the Dutch driver sank down the order and with the clock counting down he had to immediately make another attempt and as Hamilton took top spot ahead of Russell, Leclerc and Sainz, the world champion limped through in a relatively lowly P11 thanks to a lap of 1:31.242.

Out, though went Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas in P11 ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Checo, in P19, and last placed Pierre Gasly in the second Alpine.

In the early exchanges of Q2 it was Norris who took top spot, with the McLaren driver posting a lap of 1:27.432 to sit a tenth clear of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. Verstappen, meanwhile, was again suffering and after claiming fourth with a time of 1:27.799 he soon slid back to 10th as drivers stayed out and improved. It was a similar story after his second flyer and after initially rising to third he dropped to an eventual sixth as Norris took P1 ahead of Russell and Alonso.

However, while Verstappen avoided becoming the major casualty of Q2, Leclerc was unable to avoid that fate and battling porpoising in his Ferrari, the Monegasque driver was ruled out in P11 ahead of Williams’ Logan Sargeant, RB’s Yuki Tsunoda, Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu and the second RB of Daniel Ricciardo.

In the opening runs of Q3 Russell led the way by just 0.006s over Norris, as Hamilton and Piastri were both within touching distance in the battle for pole and with Verstappen down in fifth it was shaping up to be a duel between Mercedes and McLaren.

Neither Hamilton nor Russell improved on their first sectors, but both improved later in the lap and, first across the line, Hamilton jumped to top spot with 1:25.990s. Russell was finding more time, however, and when Norris made a mistake in Turn 14, Russell’s improved time of 1:25.819 was enough to clinch his third F1 pole.

Norris preserved his place in that top three, but couldn’t improve on his final run and ceded one position to Hamilton to lead the second row alongside Verstappen. Behind the Red Bull man, Piastri qualified fifth ahead of Hülkenberg, while Sainz took seventh ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, Williams’ Alex Albon and the second Aston of Fernando Alonso.

Pos Driver Car
1 George RUSSELL Mercedes
2 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes
3 Lando NORRIS McLaren
5 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren
7 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari
8 Lance STROLL Aston Martin
9 Alexander ALBON Williams
10 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin
11 Charles LECLERC Ferrari
12 Logan SARGEANT Williams
14 Guanyu ZHOU Kick Sauber
16 Valtteri BOTTAS Kick Sauber
17 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas
18 Esteban OCON Alpine
19 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull
20 Pierre GASLY Alpine

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