Lewis Hamilton beats Ferraris to sixth pole at Silverstone
British Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton beats Ferraris to sixth pole at Silverstone

07/07/2018

Lewis Hamilton took pole position in a remarkably tight qualifying session for the British Grand Prix, beating championship rival Sebastian Vettel by 0.044s.

Hamilton's pole position lap hinged on hundredths of a second and required him to improve on his second attempt in Q3 to beat Vettel's existing benchmark by the smallest of margins. In the dying seconds of the session Kimi Raikkonen looked as though he would put Hamilton's pole time under threat, but despite setting the fastest first and third sectors missed out to Hamilton in sector two and had to settle for third -- 0.098s off pole.

Vettel, who strained his neck in final practice ahead of qualifying, failed to improve on his second attempt despite being happier with his performance in the majority of Silverstone's high-speed corners.

Bottas never looked like a contender for pole and had to settle for fourth -- albeit with a comfortable margin of 0.385s over the fastest of the two Red Bulls, Max Verstappen. Daniel Ricciardo was another 0.497s off Verstappen after being warned about track limits ahead of his Q3 lap -- but again had a comfortable margin to play with over the next fastest driver.

The Haas teammates of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were split by 0.211s in seventh and eighth ahead of Charles Leclerc, who took ninth on the grid with Esteban Ocon tenth.

For the first time this season a Renault driver didn't feature in Q3 as Nico Hulkenberg finished 0.058s off a place in the top ten. He will start 11th on the grid ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso in the fastest McLaren and Pierre Gasly in 14th for Toro Rosso. Marcus Ericsson was 15th fastest, 0.601s off his Sauber teammate Leclerc.

Carlos Sainz missed out on a place in Q2 by 0.057s after hitting traffic behind Kevin Magnussen when the Haas driver made a mistake. It will be the first time this season that the Spaniard has not started the race from within the top ten as he set a time 0.439s off teammate Hulkenberg. Stoffel Vandoorne was a further 0.640s off Sainz after riding the kerbs on his first run and losing part of his car's floor in the run through Brooklands.

Williams' miserable home weekend continued after Lance Stroll spun at Brooklands on his first flying lap and beached his car in the gravel. That caused a six-minute stoppage and also saw teammate Sergey Sirotkin fail to return to the pits when the red flags came out, resulting in a stewards' investigation into the Russian's error. Sirotkin then had a spin at Stowe when the session resumed before setting a time 0.156s off Vandoorne to finish 18th.

Brendon Hartley will start last on the grid, barring penalties, after a crash in final practice damaged his car beyond repair ahead of qualifying. The team traced the issue to a lower wishbone failure on the front left suspension but Hartley has been passed fit to race on Sunday.

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