Valtteri Bottas secured pole position ahead of Lewis Hamilton for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, but Max Verstappen will have a different strategy as he starts fourth on the hard tyres.
He was the only driver on the hards in Q2 but that strategy will likely be the best as long as the race is uninterrupted by safety cars.
It’s Bottas’ first pole since the season opener in Austria and a crucial boost for the Finn whose season’s gone downhill since then, he was behind after the first runs but drove a strong final lap while Hamilton barely improved on his time.
Nico Hulkenberg qualified a brilliant third after not making Q3 (or the start) at Silverstone last year and could be in position to take his first podium in F1.
Daniel Ricciardo completed the top five after showing good pace all weekend, and only needed one run to make it through to final qualifying.
The other Racing Point of Lance Stroll is sixth, whose hopes for an Aston Martin seat next year won’t have been helped by being out-qualified by Hulkenberg.
Pierre Gasly qualified a very impressive seventh place, continuing his form from last week, ahead of Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon and Lando Norris.
Albon made it through to the top-ten shootout for the first time since the Red Bull Ring, but still won’t be happy with his ninth-place qualification.
Norris was the only McLaren to make it through Q2 and another casualty of that session was Sebastian Vettel who’s enjoyed a torrid time at Silverstone so far and lines up twelfth, one place ahead of Sainz. Esteban Ocon was eleventh.
Teams ran soft tyres in Q1, often not using tyre warmers, and the session saw Romain Grosjean and George Russell make it through, although weren’t able to make an impression and will line up in 14th and 15th respectively.
Daniil Kvyat was the big loser from Q1 as he didn’t make the cut and will start 16th tomorrow. He was joined by Kevin Magnussen, Nicolas Latifi, Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen.