Mercedes again set the pace, but this time around it was Valtteri Bottas who pipped team-mate Lewis Hamilton for pole position for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. The Grand Prix will be held at the Silverstone circuit which hosted the first-ever Formula World Championship race 70 years ago, hence the name to celebrate the occasion. The most impressive performance of the day came from Nico Hulkenberg who was third fastest to claim third place on the grid for the race on Sunday. It all started in the first 18-minute session of Q1, as all drivers went out for their final runs, Valtteri Bottas set the pace, while Sebastian Vettel continued to struggle to find the pace that would allow him to put his Ferarri into the top 10. However, Daniil Kvyat had his fastest time on his final run to be deleted for exceeding track limits which put him in the bottom five, disallowing him to make it through to Q2. With him, Kevin Magnussen, Nicolas Latifi, Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen also were unable to make it through to Q2.
In Q2, Mercedes had it easy after seeing their hot laps on their first stints and were sitting comfortably at the top. But a pleasant surprise on his second run, Nico Hulkenberg who is filling in for Sergio Perez in the Racing Point, was second fastest to the pace set by Bottas, allowing the German who had no preparation for the season to show his might behind the wheel of an F1 car. Esteban Ocon was 11th fastest in the session meaning he would be the first of the remaining 15 drivers not to make it through to Q3, but is expected to face a grid place penalty for impeding Geroge Russell in Q1. The bigger surprise came from Ferrari and McLaren as struggling Sebastian Vettel failed to qualify into Q3 being only 12th fastest, ahead of Carlos Sainz who was 13th fastest. They will start in front of Romain Grosjean and George Russell in 14th and 15th respectively.
With 12 mins on the clock for the final session — Q3 went underway. On their first runs, Both Mercedes cars again set the pace with Hamilton on top and Bottas in second both having a whole one-second advantage over Daniel Ricciardo who was third fastest in the Renault. Hulkenberg was just another tenth of a second behind. When it came to their final runs, the top 10 were split between a few opting for the medium tyres, while others on the soft compounds. Bottas beat Hamilton by just 0.063 seconds to claim pole position for a Mercedes front-row lockout. But the most exciting result came from Nico Hulkenberg who put his Racing Point, third on the grid for the race with a stellar lap, less than a second off of Bottas’ pace. Max Verstappen claimed the fourth position on the grid for the race while Ricciardo, Stroll, Gasly, Leclerc, Albon and Norris will start the race in that order completing the top 10.
2020 70th Anniversary Grand Prix Qualifying Results – Silverstone
1 Valtteri BOTTAS – Mercedes
2 Lewis HAMILTON – Mercedes
3 Nico HULKENBERG – Racing Point
4 Max VERSTAPPEN – Red Bull Racing
5 Daniel RICCIARDO – Renault
6 Lance STROLL – Racing Point
7 Pierre GASLY- Alphatauri
8 Charles LECLERC – Ferrari
9 Alexander ALBON – Red Bull Racing
10 Lando NORRIS – Mclaren
11 Esteban OCON – Renault
12 Sebastian VETTEL – Ferrari
13 Carlos SAINZ – Mclaren
14 Romain GROSJEAN – Haas F1 Team
15 George RUSSELL – Williams
16 Daniil KVYAT – Alphatauri
17 Kevin MAGNUSSEN – Haas F1 Team
18 Nicholas LATIFI – Williams
19 Antonio GIOVINAZZI – Alfa Romeo Racing
20 Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN – Alfa Romeo Racing
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