Lewis Hamilton took his seventh Silverstone pole in eight years, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, with Mercedes running a second quicker than the next best team.
It was a record-breaking lap for the Black Arrows as this, their eighth consecutive pole at one circuit, has never been done before, although disappointing for Bottas as the Finn had been quickest in every Saturday session before Q3.
It’s the first session that Hamilton’s topped this weekend and it wasn’t a smooth qualifying session as he spun in Q2 at Luffield, bringing out the red flags with nine minutes to go, but his margin of three tenths to Bottas is a commanding one.
Verstappen third by a tenth ahead of Charles Leclerc, who replicated his strong FP3 pace to make the second row of the grid. The Monegasque is under investigation for an unsafe release early in Q3, drawing Lance Stroll’s ire, but it appears unlikely that he will receive a penalty.
Having been tipped for a strong weekend, it was a disappointing Saturday for Stroll and Racing Point as the Canadian lines up sixth, behind Lando Norris who at one point in the latter stages was up to third in his home race, and ended up fifth.
His teammate Carlos Sainz was seventh ahead of the Renault duo headed by Daniel Ricciardo, with Sebastian Vettel rounding out the top ten having struggled around Becketts on all his Q3 laps.
Alex Albon and Nico Hulkenberg were the big losers in Q2 as they placed twelfth and thirteenth respectively. Hulkenberg had looked better in practice but given his lack of preparation he can’t be as disappointed.
However, it’s the second round in a row that Albon’s not made it to final qualifying but whereas in Hungary Christian Horner apologised for getting their positioning wrong for the final run, this time it looked all down to Albon.
He also suffered the ignominy of qualifying behind Pierre Gasly in the B team, AlphaTauri.
Gasly was unlucky not to get through to Q3 as he recorded the exact same lap-time as Stroll, 1:26.501, but was ranked eleventh because Stroll had set his time earlier in the session than the Frenchman.
Daniil Kvyat and George were fourteenth and fifteenth to complete Q2.
The now-familiar Q1 quintet of both Haas, Alfa Romeos and Nicholas Latifi failed to make it out of the first session. The Canadian went off at Luffield attempting his final flying lap, and will start last on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
At the top of that group was Kevin Magnussen, but he was still four tenths away from Kvyat’s cut-off time.