Lewis Hamilton edges out Max Verstappen to top qualifying and take pole for sprint race

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Lewis Hamilton edges out Max Verstappen to top qualifying and take pole for sprint race

Lewis Hamilton took pole for Saturday’s new sprint race at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Friday.

The Mercedes driver beat Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by 0.075 seconds to take top spot for the new 17-lap race.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas finished in third ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez took fifth. McLaren’s Lando Norris came sixth with teammate Daniel Ricciardo coming seventh. Williams’ George Russell finished eighth.

Hamilton could have finished in a quicker time on his final run, but he veered wide at the penultimate corner and lost a bit of time.

Nevertheless the seven-time world champion held on to first with Verstappen unable to beat his time in front of the 86,000 crowd in attendance at Silverstone.

The winner of Saturday’s sprint will be classed as the pole position winner.

Hamilton said after the session: “We have been missing this for a whole years, I have lost my voice a little. I am so grateful to see everyone here.

“To come to Silverstone and have a full crowd like this. You feel the energy. I was hopeful with the great work we did at the team and the energy of the fans would get us here. This is down to the fans.

“The first lap was great and the second was looking even better, but I just lost the back end in the last corner and my heart was in my mouth as I crossed the line.”

Verstappen said: “The car was handling quite well but just a lot of understeer so I couldn’t really attack any corners, just waiting for the front to grip up.

“A weird feeling to drive, I don’t think it was set-up or front wing related, we are still quite close so it’s all right.”