Lewis Hamilton has continued his domination of the free practice sessions in Qualifying, by taking pole position in a commanding way, even after getting his first timed lap annulled by going wide at turn 9. Nico Rosberg slots into second position, ahead of the two Red Bulls who will start from the second row on the British Grand Prix starting grid.
Before qualifying, it was announced that Sebastian Vettel would get a 5-place grid penalty for yet another unscheduled gearbox change. Just like in Austria, the German's car was diagnosed with a problem that could not be fixed without a gearbox change. Contrary to Austria though, Ferrari looks less competitive in the free practice sessions.
As running started, both Mercedes quickly emerged on top as everybody went out on the soft tyres. Both Force India's though opted initially for a single lap on the hard tyres.
Lots of drivers were seen having trouble keeping their cars on the track, pushing just a bit too hard in an attempt to extract each tenth of a second. Verstappen, Wehrlein and Hamilton all oversteered when on the kerbs in the corners of the final sector, whereas Palmer's first flying lap was simply erased as he was out of the track's limits at turn 9. The FIA had made it clear to the teams that there would be zero tolerance, and improper laptimes would immediately get annulled.
The final two minutes of the session proved tense for Button, one of two home drivers at Silverstone. Positioned 15th, the Brit was done running but sat in his car, knowing there was a risk of elimination. That fear of elimination eventually turned out to materialise with Kvyat and Magnussen improving in the dying seconds, pushing Button down to 17th.
Button walked comfortably to the back of the pitlane to talk to the media, until he suddenly started to sprint back to the team's pitbox, putting back on his helmet and getting back into his car again. Confirmation didn't come though, and Button eventuallly stepped out of his car once again when Rosberg and Hamilton were already lapping around as Q2 kicked off in the meantime.
Slower, but still on target were the Red Bulls and Sebastian Vettel. Everybody was quite a bit slower than the Mercedes cars, with Verstapppen in third already 1.5s down on pace setter Hamilton. Raikkonen on the other hand was far from settled after his first flying lap, spinning off at Club. After pitting, he next attempt also turned out to be nothing much, lockup up and completely missing turn 3. The Finn, having just been confirmed to stay at Ferrari for another year, managed to recover one lap later and move up into 6th.
Moments later, the battle to be in Q3 was at full swing. Alonso and Hulkenberg were able to just get through, eliminating Perez, Massa, Grosjean, Gutierrez, Kvyat and Magnussen.
At the start of Q3, Rosberg and Hamilton were once again out early, soon followed by everybody else. Their early exit though forced them to navigate through cars on their in-laps during their own flyers. It didn't seem to impact them anyway, with both more than 7 tenths quicker than anybody else. A minute later, Hamilton's time was removed, due to getting his four wheels beyond the white line on the exit of turn 9.
Hamilton subsequently went out early, opting to have a change at two flying laps on his final set of soft tyres. Alonso had the same in mind, having set only the tenth fastest time on his first run.
Hamilton's first lap, even though slower than Rosberg in S1 and S2, turned out to be even faster than his annulled lap. As Rosberg failed to improve himself, that immediately secured pole position for him. The Red Bull's were set for a second row start, followed by Raikkonen and Bottas.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:30.739||1:29.243||1:29.287||14|
|2||6||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:30.724||1:29.970||1:29.606||14|
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:31.305||1:30.697||1:30.313||12|
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:31.684||1:31.319||1:30.618||12|
|7||77||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Mercedes||1:31.913||1:31.478||1:31.557||12|
|8||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:32.115||1:31.708||1:31.989||15|
|9||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India Mercedes||1:32.349||1:31.770||1:32.172||18|
|10||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:32.281||1:31.740||1:32.343||15|
|11||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:32.336||1:31.875||-||12|
|12||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:32.146||1:32.002||-||10|
|13||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:32.283||1:32.050||-||14|
|14||21||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas Ferrari||1:32.237||1:32.241||-||14|
|15||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:32.553||1:32.306||-||12|
|17||22||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda||1:32.788||-||-||3|
|19||88||Rio Haryanto||MRT Mercedes||1:33.098||-||-||9|
|20||94||Pascal Wehrlein||MRT Mercedes||1:33.151||-||-||9|
|21||12||Felipe Nasr||Sauber Ferrari||1:33.544||-||-||8|