Max and Pierre will start the Team’s second home race of the season from fourth and fifth on the grid respectively after a tight qualifying battle at Silverstone today.
In Q1, Lewis Hamilton led the way in the opening exchanges, with the Mercedes driver posting a time of 1:25.513 to take P1, two hundredths of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. After an opening lap of 1:26.095, Max improved on a second run to take P3 with a lap of 1:25.700, while Pierre sat in P8 with a time of 1:26.273, 0.155s ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Pierre was sent out again in the final runs as a precaution, but with no threat emerging to his eighth place, the Frenchman backed out of his flying lap in the second sector and cruised back to the pits. He finished the session behind the fourth-placed Mercedes of Valterri Bottas, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and the McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.
Further down the order, the tussle for the final Q2 berths was tight, with Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez claiming the final spot, in P15, with a time of 1:26.649. That was just 0.013s ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen who was eliminated in P16 ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and the twin Williams cars of George Russell and Robert Kubica.
In Q2, both Bulls went out for first runs on medium compound tyres, as did the Mercedes drivers and Ferrari’s Leclerc. Vettel was the outlier, however, with the German bolting on a set of softs. And while Leclerc set the pace on the yellow tyres with a time of 1:25.646, to lie ahead of Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen and Gasly, Vettel’s lap on the quicker tyres was not a good one and when he crossed the line he was in P8 on a time of 1:26.529, behind Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.
In the final runs the top five all went out again, but while the Bulls and the Mercedes drivers backed out of improvements on soft tyres, Leclerc went quicker on the red-walled compound to take P1 with a time of 1:25.546.
Vettel, meanwhile, dropped to P11 as rivals improved, but he too made an improvement in the final run and his time of 1:26.023 was good enough to take P5. That split the Red Bulls and Max therefore went through in P4 and Pierre in P6. Like the Mercedes drivers, Max and Pierre will start on medium rubber. Ferrari’s drivers, though, will both start on softs.
Eliminated at the end of the session were the Alfa Romeos of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen in P11 and P12 respectively, 13th-placed Carlos Sainz of McLaren, Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Racing Point’s Pérez.
In Q3 it was Bottas who seized the initiative with the Finn posting a hard-to-match time of 1:25.093 to claim provisional pole 0.252s ahead of Hamilton. After the first runs Max found himself in third place, a little over a tenth of a second behind Hamilton, while Pierre was fifth, 0.167s behind fourth-placed Leclerc.
And there was to be no overhaul of Bottas’ time in the final runs. The Finn failed to improve on his final flyer and that gave Hamilton an opportunity, and though the home favourite put in a good lap, he ended up missing out on pole by the tiny margin of six thousandths of a second.
Max made a big step on his second run, improving by two tenths of a second. Leclerc, though, also made a big step and Max therefore had to settle for P4 on the grid with a time of 1:25.276, just a tenth of a second behind Leclerc.
Pierre, meanwhile, will start from P5 on the grid, with the Frenchman setting a best time of 1:25.590 to beat Vettel by almost two tenths of a second.
Behind them Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo finished seventh ahead of Norris, Albon and Hulkenberg.
9 – Pierre Gasly will start nine places further up the Silverstone grid than he did last year. Racing for Toro Rosso, Pierre started from P14 last year and finished in P13.
4 – Max will start from P4 on the grid at Silverstone for the second time in his career. The last time was in 2017. His best qualifying position here was third in 2016.
British Grand Prix - Qualifying Top 10:
1. Valtteri Bottas
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Charles Leclerc
4. MAX VERSTAPPEN
5. PIERRE GASLY
6. Sebastian Vettel
7. Daniel Ricciardo
8. Lando Norris
9. Alexander Albon
10. Niko Hülkenberg