Grand Prix of Britain – Qualifying

Vettel opened the points gap further by finishing ahead of Hamilton in Austria but can he continue to extend his lead at HAM’s home race?

(I’m watching Quali a few days late because I was shooting the Toronto Indy again.)

Free practice:

  1. FP1: BOT (1:29.106), HAM, VER, RIC, RAI
  2. FP2: BOT (1:28.496), HAM, RAI, VET, VER
  3. FP3: HAM (1:28.063), VET, BOT, RAI, HUL

Even before Quali starts, there are penalties for BOT (5 grid spots for a gearbox change), RIC (also 5 places for a gearbox change) and ALO (30 for another heap of engine changes). I saw a mention of Toro Rosso being summoned to see the stewards over a damaged wheel tether on SAI’s car, but I can’t find anything about the outcome.

Air temperature 17°C; track 21°C; it’s misty and drizzling

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
VER sits at the end of the pit lane, followed by teammate RIC – they’re both on intermediate tyres
WEH and OCO are going out on super-softs
Seems like more cars on slicks (supers) than on inters
Did VER leave the pit lane before the lights turned green?
Radio from VET – “inters are definitely the way to go”
Rain is getting harder
VER 1:43.166
RIC 1:42.966
SAI spins off at Copse
Radio for HAM telling him they expect him to dry up before the end of the session
RIC has parked the Red Bull – turbo failure
Red flag – session stopped so they can recover RIC’s car
That’s broken RIC’s run of 38 consecutive appearances in Q3
Just over 10 mins left of Q1
Green lights for the restart
Radio for RAI – expect about 3 minutes of rain before it eases up
HAM 1:41.296
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are PAL, MAG, ERI, ALO, WEH
VET 1:40.056
MAG goes P8, relegating STR
ERI P13, bumping KVY to P16
STR to P16
Everyone (except RIC) on track for the final few minutes
WEH to P17
KVY jumps to P5, dropping VAN to P16
Radio from ALO – he thinks it’s OK for dry tyres
STR up to P12, ERI down to P16
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are ERI, VAN, WEH, PAL, ALO
ALO did cross the line just in time, so he’ll get one flying lap on dry tyres
PAL to P8, RIC to P16
ERI to P16
VAN up to P7, moving MAG to P16
WEH to P17
ALO 1:37.598 – he jumps from P20 to P1!
Huge cheer for ALO
Replay of OCO’s last lap – looks like a fire in his rear left brake
Back of the grid: STR, MAG, WEH, ERI, RIC*
*penalties to be applied

Qualifying session 2
Looks like everyone is starting Q2 on dry tyres
VER runs wide in Copse; recovers
GRO 1:33.172
BOT is on softs; everyone else on super-softs
RAI 1:32.171
HAM 1:31.145
HUL 1:31.085
BOT 1:29.687
HAM 1:29.097
Incident involving VET and PER noted by the stewards
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are PER, GRO, PAL, MAS; no time yet from SAI
No further action required in VET/PER incident
RAI 1:28.982
VET 1:28.978
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are SAI, ALO, PER, PAL, MAS
PAL to P10, relegating KVY
HAM 1:27.893
PER to P8, bumping PAL back to P16
Middle of the grid: PAL, KVY, ALO*, SAI, MAS
*penalties to be applied

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 battle is between HAM, BOT, VET, RAI, HUL, VER, OCO, PER, GRO and VAN
BOT 1:27.580
HAM 1:27.231
OCO P3
PER P3
RAI P3
VET P2
VAN P7
HUL P5
GRO P8
VER P5
Order after one run: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, GRO, VAN
GRO complaining he was held up by HAM
Incident involving GRO and HAM under investigation
BOT locks up right at the start of his final quick lap
OCO P7
Chequered flag
VAN P9
PER P6
BOT P2
HAM 1:26.600
RAI P2
VER P5
HUL P6
VET P3
Front of the grid: HAM, RAI, VET, BOT*, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, VAN, GRO
*penalties to be applied

HAM equals Jim Clark’s record of 5 British GP poles
That’s also 67 poles in total for HAM, one behind Schumacher’s record

Provisional grid: HAM, RAI, VET, BOT*, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, VAN, GRO, PAL, KVY, ALO*, SAI, MAS, STR, MAG, WEH, ERI, RIC*
*penalties to be applied

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