The tenth Grand Prix weekend for the 2019 F1 season is taking place at the historic Silverstone circuit for the British Grand Prix. The crowd gathered on Saturday afternoon rooting for Lewis Hamilton to claim his fifth consecutive British GP pole. But his Mercedes team-mate, Valtteri Bottas had other ideas as in the final stages of qualifying.
In the first session of Saturday, qualifying Ferrari was off to a good start. As the pack started to put in their laps, it was Charles Leclerc who had already started breaking records with his first-time set. With the track featuring a brand new surface, as the drivers drove around the surface started to rubber in, making track evolution a key aspect to consider for drivers and teams. Due to which, Leclerc’s time was subsequently beaten by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Racing Point struggled, yet again. However, Sergio Perez managed to make it into Q2. Haas and Torro Rosso had similar results because, at the end of Q1, Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat, Lance Stroll and the Williams duo of George Russell and Robert Kubica’s Saturday ended after the first five drivers were eliminated.
Just as the track went green for Q2, the clouds were beginning to make the teams and drivers weary of the possibility of rain. So the entire pack scrambled out of their garages to get a quick lap in. However, Sebastian Vettel stayed put in the Ferrari for a significant portion of the time. Though unconfirmed, it could have been due to the issue the German experienced with the DRS system on his car in the earlier session. Vettel went out and set a slow time on a used set in the middle of the session. In the final scramble to make it into Q3, Vettel was the last driver to cross the line and made it into Q3. After Q2, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen were eliminated and will start from 11th and 12th on the grid ahead of the McLaren of Carlos Sainz, Romain Grosjean in the Haas and Sergio Perez in the Racing Point.
Both Mercedes, Ferraris, Red Bulls and Renaults had made it into Q3 along with McLaren driver Lando Norris on his first British GP and Alex Albon in the Torro Rosso. In their first run, Hamilton struggled for grip on his fast lap allowing Bottas to set the fastest lap of the session for provisional pole and Hamilton was second. Verstappen’s time put him right behind Hamilton however, Ferrari’s competitive pace suddenly vanished in Q3.
On their final run, the track conditions began to deteriorate in terms of grip unexpectedly and most cars failed to improve on their times, and it was especially Mercedes. Bottas and Hamilton both struggled for grip on the final run and neither driver improved. While this left the door open for Leclerc in the faster of the two Ferrari’s, his final run was only third fastest. The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Piere Gasly were fourth and fifth fastest respectively, with Sebastian Vettel only managing the sixth fastest lap of the session. Daniel Ricciardo leads the midfield in seventh with Lando Norris in eights, Albon ninth and Nico Hulkenberg will start the race from tenth.