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Hamilton takes pole for home British GP in record time

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Hamilton takes pole for home British GP in record time

By Alan Baldwin

 

2020-08-01T204034Z_1_LYNXMPEG702CK_RTROPTP_4_MOTOR-F1-BRITAIN.JPG

Formula One F1 - British Grand Prix - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - August 1, 2020 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in action during qualifying Frank Augstein/Pool via REUTERS

 

SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) - Six times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton shattered the Silverstone track record with a blistering lap to put dominant Mercedes on pole position for his home British Grand Prix on Saturday.

 

The 35-year-old, who will be chasing a record seventh win at Silverstone on Sunday, was joined on the front row by Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen qualifying third.

 

The pole was the 91st of Hamilton's career and seventh at Silverstone and he made sure of it with a lap of one minute 24.303 seconds after Bottas had led the opening two sessions on a gusty afternoon.

 

Hamilton had spun at Luffield at the start of the second phase of qualifying without damaging his car, but bringing out red flags due to the amount of gravel scattered across the track.

 

"It was a real struggle out there," he told 2009 world champion and compatriot Jenson Button in an interview after stepping out of the black car.

 

 

"This track is just awesome. With a gust of wind, you have a headwind, a tailwind, a crosswind at different parts of the circuit. It's like juggling balls whilst you're on a moving plate, at high speed."

 

The champion, the first driver to take seven poles at his home grand prix, kept calm and carried on to secure his 100th front row start for Mercedes.

 

"Qualifying is a lot about confidence building and... I was already down and I was struggling through the first sector in every lap," Hamilton added.

 

"I don't know how, but with some deep breaths, I managed to compose myself."

 

Bottas, five points adrift of his team mate in the championship after three races, could only manage a best effort of 1:24.616.

 

Mercedes were still so dominant that they nailed pole with a time 0.7 seconds quicker than last year, when Bottas beat Hamilton to the top slot but lost out on race day. Red Bull and Ferrari were both slower than in 2019.

 

WAY TOO FAST

 

Verstappen was more than a second off Hamilton's pace as the best of the rest, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc joining him on the second row, while his four-times champion team mate Sebastian Vettel qualified 10th.

 

"I think the lap at the end of Q3 was actually pretty good but you could just see pretty early on in qualifying they were just way too fast, as they have been in the last three races," said Verstappen.

 

The Dutch driver's Thai team mate Alexander Albon continued a run of poor Saturday form by qualifying 12th.

 

That placed him alongside AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly, the Frenchman who occupied the Red Bull seat before him.

 

Gasly missed out on the final top 10 shootout by the slimmest of margins, setting the same time as Racing Point's Canadian Lance Stroll who went through because he did his lap first.

 

McLaren's British driver Lando Norris will line up in fifth place, ahead of Stroll in sixth, with team mate Carlos Sainz seventh and Renault's Australian Daniel Ricciardo eighth.

 

Williams' George Russell made the second phase for the second race in a row but collected a five place grid penalty for failing to respect yellow flags -- triggered by team mate Nicholas Latifi spinning -- and dropped to the back of the grid.

 

Nico Hulkenberg, standing in for Mexican Sergio Perez after the Racing Point driver contracted the new coronavirus, will line up 13th.

 

Qualifying was held without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

"Normally, you have the sirens going off, you see the flags everywhere, you see smoke and the atmosphere is buzzing. You normally get out of the car and there's a different energy," said Hamilton.

 

"We definitely miss them (the fans) but hopefully they were happy with that turnaround."

 

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-08-02
 
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This is one fan he'll have to continue to miss because I won't be supporting him, or indeed the rest of F1 after his (especially) and the rest's antics recently. Used to be my second favourite sport after football, but now I support neither. 

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Hamilton starts first. 

The cars go round & round for about two hours. 

Hamilton finishes first. 

How exciting!!! 

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41 minutes ago, garygooner said:

Hamilton starts first. 

The cars go round & round for about two hours. 

Hamilton finishes first. 

How exciting!!! 

I hate to agree but you are correct, long gone are the days when you could see the Drivers who drove according to their abilities, not team orders.

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4 hours ago, baansgr said:

I've boycotted watching since this twerp has forced his agenda not only on all the teams but spectators also....maybe my loss but sick and tired of his Nazism

100% agree, totally stopped watching the first 5 minutes of all football now to avoid this stupidity

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11 minutes ago, Tropicalevo said:

Hamilton was never a rich kid. Try and keep up.

He became rich after working hard and becoming the best in the world at what he does.

So he got where he got from his own efforts and none of the BLM stuff that he is forcing on folk......?

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4 hours ago, pineapple01 said:

Hamilton has gone to the Back of the Grid for Me. Keep your beliefs personal.

whether he likes it or not, he is an International role model for many a young driver, black ones most especially.  It is almost a duty that he needs to front up anti discrimination and racism where he can do some good due to a high international profile.  I just wish that he would condemn the BLM terrorist organisation and stop wearing that T shirt, its not helping a worthy cause. 

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Posted (edited)

Another borefest on it's way then? TV cameras will be focusing on the battle for 12/13 place ! (Big deal)

 

Have to agree that he is forcing his opinion on not just his fellow competitors but the rest of us too.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by eyup
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Troll post and some replies removed

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I'll be cheering Hamilton on as always. Once again the BLM issue seems to have upset some posters on here but he is entitled his opinion as you are yours. I saw someone above posted about his black privilege, but look what he has made of that. He's now a role model from the black community and has shown what is possible if black people are given a chance.

 

What's interesting to me though is no Perez due to covid-19. Hamilton's championship, if you ask me, is most under threat from his test results rather than his racing.

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