2023 British Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis – Max Verstappen took his 27th F1 pole position, his seventh this year. Even if that looked very predictable based on yesterday’s performance, the way it was achieved and the source of the threat to the Dutchman’s position was certainly surprising. The Red Bull driver had to push hard all the way to the very end to get ahead of Land Norris’ McLaren, the Englishman delivering a great performance to claim second place ahead of his team-mate Oscar Piastri, third.
The track was damp for the start of qualifying, with sporadic light rain. Five drivers – the two Ferraris, the two Haas and Sargeant in the Williams – started off with an out-in lap on intermediates, while the rest began on Soft tyres. FP3 looked different as it had started in the dry, with drivers running all three slick compounds and then on a track that got progressively wetter, all drivers got a chance for a more in-depth assessment of the intermediate tyres.
The best time of the day, a 1.26.720 was in line with our earlier simulation, given that it was just 20 hundredths slower.
On hand to present Max Verstappen with the Pirelli Pole Position Award was Paulo Dybala, the AS Roma forward and a footballing world champion as part of Argentina’s winning team in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Mario Isola – Pirelli Motorsport Director
“It was a busy, exciting and interesting day, as is often the case when track conditions keep changing rapidly. In the last free practice session, we saw drivers mainly doing laps with a low fuel load: the few who tried to gather data on tyre behaviour over a longer distance, running with more fuel on board, did not have much time to do so as the rain arrived. But this did allow them to learn more about the intermediate tyre and to calculate the crossover time to slicks (112%) on a demanding track like Silverstone and from the comments we have received from the teams and drivers, everything seems to be in line with expectations, both in terms of warm-up and car balance.
“Track conditions improved rapidly throughout qualifying as it gradually dried out, with the order changing constantly right up to the chequered flag. Everyone used the Soft tyres and the C3 proved to have excellent warm-up, even though air and track temperatures were considerably lower than yesterday’s, also considering that drivers chose to wait several minutes for the green light, sitting in the fast lane in the pits, therefore without the benefit of the blankets.
“Tomorrow’s race should be run in the dry, although the forecast here is traditionally a bit haphazard. In terms of strategy, the C3 presents itself more and more as a viable choice and so a two-stop is probably the quickest option. That means we can expect to see different choices between the teams leading to more excitement and uncertainty.”