The Bulls will start their second home race in succession from the third row of the grid at the British Grand Prix after Max qualified fifth at Silverstone and Daniel slotted into sixth place despite a DRS issue that hampered him in Q3.
The opening session of qualifying was straightforward for the Bulls. Daniel worked his way to a best time of 1:27.979, that was eventually good enough for seventh place, while Max progressed in fourth place with lap of 1:27.309.
The Bulls were forced to wait for their chance to set their times, however, as three minutes into the session the red flags were shown when Williams’ Lance Stroll went off at Brooklands. With a recovery vehicle needed the session was halted for six minutes as his car was removed.
Prior to the session, it had been revealed that with his team needing to build up a new chassis following a heavy crash in FP3, Brendon Hartley would not be taking part in qualifying and so with the New Zealander and Stroll out, there would be just three running drivers eliminated at the end of Q1.
And as the final runs began Renault’s Carlos Sainz, McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin were the men in danger. And in the end, none of trio managed to find the pace to escape the drop. Sainz briefly climbed up the order but as the final times arrived he dropped back to P16 and elimination. The Spaniard cited traffic, in particular the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, as the reason for his uncharacteristic slump.
At the top of the order, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took P1 ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas third ahead of Max. Kimi Räikkönen was fifth in the second Ferrari while Sauber’s Charles Leclerc put in a good final lap to drop Daniel to P7 at the flag.
Q2 was a similarly straightforward proposition for the Bulls and after the first runs of the middle segment Max found himself fifth, with Daniel sixth. Hamilton now led the way ahead of Vettel, Bottas and Räikkönen. Behind Daniel, Haas’ Romain Grosjean was best of the rest after the first runs, two tenths shy of Ricciardo’s time, with Magnussen eighth ahead of Leclerc and Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
The top 10 remained unchanged in the final runs, and thus, behind Ocon, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was eliminated in P11 ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson in P15.
In Q3 Max set an opening-run time of 1:26.684 but while Daniel again slotted into P6 he was this time a full four tenths slower than his team-mate with a time of 1:27.089. The lack of pace was down to a DRS failure on his opening lap.
With the Aussie having to manually operate the system on the following lap he was unable to find more time, but in the end his session wasn’t hurt beyond slightly damaged pride as Max finished almost half a second clear thanks to a final lap of 1:26.602. Behind Daniel, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen finished 0.145 behind the Australian, with team-mate Romain Grosjean eighth ahead of Leclerc and Ocon.
At the top, Vettel laid an early claim to pole position, edging five tenths head of Hamilton, but in the final runs the Briton was able find the vital time he needed and he took pole position four hundredths of a second ahead of the Ferrari man. Räikkonen was third ahead of Bottas.
- This is the third time this season that the Bulls have locked out row three. The other occasions were in China and in Spain.
- This will be Daniel’s fourth P6 grid slot of the season so far. He also started from P6 in China, Spain and Canada.
- This will be Max’s fourth P5 start. He also started from the front of row three in China, Azerbaijan and Spain.
British Grand Prix - Qualifying - Top 10:
- Lewis Hamilton
- Sebastian Vettel
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Valtteri Bottas
- MAX VERSTAPPEN
- DANIEL RICCIARDO
- Kevin Magnussen
- Romain Grosjean
- Charles Leclerc
- Esteban Ocon