Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes pushed back on Max Verstappen and Red Bull dominance with a win in the first ever Friday qualifying session. He will begin the Sprint Qualifying session in the top position. The victory seemed to come out of nowhere since Verstappen had been fastest during free practice and the first qualifying session. Hamilton’s excitement was evident on the team radio for his first qualifying win since the Spanish GP. The last time he has gone this long between qualifying wins was in 2019, when he went ten races between wins. The Silverstone crowd showed their unmistakable excitement for their countryman. Cheers were heard through the television each time Hamilton posted the top times during qualifying. Lewis was not the only one that received the cheers from the British crowd.
George Russell treated his hometown faithful to an epic performance during qualifying. He reached the final qualifying session for the second time in consecutive race weekends. During his final run at Silverstone, the crowd was cheering him on all the way along the 5.8 km track. Russell placed in P8 again for the Sprint Qualifying. He was a tenth and a half from fourth place. In his career, he has beaten his Williams teammate forty-seven times in a row. His performance today and throughout the weekend could push Russell to the front step to receiving the Mercedes seat next season.
Ocon Bounce Back
Esteban Ocon made a step in the right direction towards bouncing back from his poor performance as of late. He got out of Q1 for the first time in two races. Alpine provided him with a new chassis for this weekend and he has been really happy with the change. During Q2, Ocon was ahead of his teammate at one point but ultimately finished one tenth behind Fernando Alonso in P13.
Red Bull and Honda’s Step Back
Max Verstappen was seven hundredths of a second behind Hamilton even after Lewis could not improve on his time when he lost grip at Vale. Sergio Perez had his lap time deleted on his final run after he went wide at Stowe, which meant that he finished in P5 and he will start on the third row. As for the Alpha Tauris, Pierre Gasly did not get into Q3 for the first time since the Spanish GP and Yuki Tsunoda did not make it through Q1. Red Bull will have its work cutout for them in the Sprint Qualifying since they will have Verstappen in the front row surrounded by Mercedes and Perez will need to get past Charles Lerclerc’s Ferrari to catch up to the Mercedes and they will only have 17 laps to do so.
Sprint Qualifying Grid Position