British GP: Hamilton recovers from spin to take pole

Lewis Hamilton recovered from an underwhelming start to Saturday's British Grand Prix qualifying session to claim his seventh Silverstone pole.

Hamilton was displeased with the car after Friday's practice session and was unusually still making changes to his Mercedes ahead of qualifying. 

Hamilton recovers from spin to take pole

The reigning world champion has admitted those tweaks subsequently made the car worse, with eveidence presented when he made a rare mistake in Q2, spinning at Luffield dragging gravel onto the track to cause a red flag.

Hamilton pulled things together later in the session and laid down a new track record lap. He is now the first driver to claim seven pole positions at his home Grand Prix, Hamilton will have another opportunity to extend his record to eight next weekend with back-to-back races being staged at Silverstone.

The World Championship standings are mirrored in the top three, with Bottas second, three tenths off the pace, and Max Verstappen in third for Red Bull, around one second adrift of Hamilton. Such was the domination of Mercedes at the Northamptonshire track that the Silver Arrows were 0.7s quicker than 2019, whereas Red Bull and Ferrari are both slower than they were in Q3 this time last year.

Ferrari pull out the stops to get fourth

Ferrari opted to strip the downforce of their car for the British Grand Prix in a bid to make up for their power deficit which helped their qualifying form as Charles Leclerc took a strong fourth, only a fraction behind Verstappen. 

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel's miserable season continued, as he could only manage 10th, though he will at least start the race on the more durable medium tyre.

McLaren's Lando Norris ensured two British drivers made the top five, continuing his strong start to the season as he pipped Racing Point's Lance Stroll, with teammate Carlos Sainz two tenths further back in seventh. Both Renaults would make it to Q3, with Daniel Ricciardo edging out Esteban Ocon.

But the day belonged to Hamilton, the Briton securing his 100th front row start for Mercedes in 144 races for the team. And pole sets him up perfectly for another win on home soil, given the last six Grands Prix have been won from P1.

British GP qualifying

144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:25.9001:25.3471:24.30322
277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:25.8011:25.0151:24.61617
333Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:26.1151:26.1441:25.32515
416Charles LeclercFERRARI1:26.5501:26.2031:25.42716
54Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:26.8551:26.4201:25.78220
618Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:26.2431:26.5011:25.83920
755Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:26.7151:26.1491:25.96520
83Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:26.6771:26.3391:26.00919
931Esteban OconRENAULT1:26.3961:26.2521:26.20920
105Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:26.4691:26.4551:26.33920
1110Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:26.3431:26.501[/td][td]12
1223Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:26.5651:26.545[/td][td]11
1327Nico HulkenbergRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:26.3271:26.566[/td][td]14
1426Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA1:26.7741:26.744[/td][td]12
1563George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:26.7321:27.092[/td][td]14
1620Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:27.158[/td][td]9
1799Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:27.164[/td][td]9
187Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:27.366[/td][td]9
198Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:27.643[/td][td]9
206Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:27.705[/td][td]7

Q1 107% time – 1:31.807/\r\n//\r\n/Note – Kvyat penalised five grid places for an unscheduled gearbox change.