Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in Q3 with an impressive lap time of 1:26.134 to ensure he starts tomorrow’s inaugural F1 Sprint Qualifying Race in first position after he edged out title-rival Max Verstappen.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas will start from P3 after finishing just two tenths behind, having set his time in clean air on the final run.
Both drivers made strong gains from the day’s only Practice session and took to the track in front of the biggest crowd of the year under blue skies at Silverstone.
Today also marked the first qualifying session of the new weekend format being trialled by F1, with a 100km sprint race tomorrow setting the order for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Huge Crowd Energises Lewis Hamilton
One of the biggest crowds ever seen at Silverstone for a Friday has pushed Lewis Hamilton to greater heights, inspiring the Brit to find the extra performance needed to put his car in at the front of the grid for the first-ever F1 Sprint Qualifying Race tomorrow.
‘I am so grateful to see everyone here – to come to the Silverstone Grand Prix and have a full crowd and see the energy is amazing. When I was coming into this weekend, I was hopeful that with the great work we have done together in the team, plus the energy of the fans, it would get us there.
‘Red Bull were very quick in the practice session but we were just staying focused on our job and trying to layer up – I was in the sim this morning as a practice session because it’s the first time ever we have had a morning free. I was just putting in the time, trying to give absolutely everything and leave no stone unturned.
‘We’ve been working so hard, putting so much effort and time in – at the track, on the sim, in the factory – just trying to stay centred and squeeze every last thing out of this car. It’s been such a difficult time for everyone and we finally got all the fans here at the British Grand Prix, and the desire to want to deliver for everyone is beyond belief,’ said Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas Happy With Cars Performance
After struggling earlier in the season, Valtteri Bottas‘ form has improved in recent weeks, so the Finn was happy to extract everything he could from the car, and will start the Sprint Qualifying Race from the second row of the grid.
I think the last lap was really good, I was the first one out in free air with no tow so if I consider that, it was a good lap. As a team we are at the front in the fight which is great to see – Red Bull looked strong in Practice and it was a bit worrying but it’s all to play for.
Today was only Qualifying, we have the Sprint Race tomorrow with lots of opportunities and I’m looking forward to it – as a team we’ll try to get the best result. It was great to feel the energy and the atmosphere of the crowd today, it’s really cool to see the fans here,’ added Bottas.