Grand Prix of Great Britain – Qualifying & Sprint

The first thing to address is the format for this weekend: this is the first of three planned “sprint format” race weekends. This means that Quali is on Friday afternoon (while I’m in meetings!) and it sets the grid for the sprint on Saturday afternoon; the result of the sprint will be the grid for Sunday’s race. There are points for the top 3 finishers of the sprint (3 points for P1, 2points for P2 and 1pt for P3) but there’s no podium ceremony.

In other news:

  • There were lots of penalties (or at least the stewards conducted a lot of investigations) after the Austrian GP – the details are in the comments on my race notes page
    The final result was: VER*, BOT, NOR, HAM, SAI, PER, RIC, LEC, GAS, ALO; RUS, TSU, STR, GIO, RAI, LAT; DNF: VET, SCH, MAZ, OCO
    *VER also gets a point for fastest lap
    Points standings after GP of Austria

  • As far as penalty points on their licenses, here’s the latest: NOR,PER=8 RUS,VET,RAI,LAT=6 GIO,MAZ=5 TSU,STR=4 LEC,HAM,BOT=2 OCO,RIC,SAI,GAS=1 VER,ALO,SCH=0 [FIA]
  • NOR was mugged after watching the Euro 2020 final at Wembley last Sunday! [FIA] [McLaren]
  • Still with McLaren news, “Zak Brown will not be attending the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend after he tested positive for Covid-19” [FIA]
  • There was a photo op with the new 2022 car spec [FIA photos] [FIA info] [comparison]
    I think it looks a bit like an Indy car, without the aeroscreen

  • NOR and RUS have special helmet designs for their home GP [FIA]

Free Practice has changed a little; FP1 is as usual; there’s no FP on Friday afternoon (that timeslot is now Quali), so Saturday morning is now FP2
FP1: VER (1:27.035), NOR, HAM, LEC, BOT, SAI, VET, PER, RIC, OCO
VER felt his Red Bull was low on power out of some corners, but he was 0.8sec faster than NOR and HAM
RUS had his fastest lap time deleted for exceeding track limits, so he ended up P20
SAI spun coming out of Turn 3 in an otherwise uneventful session

The format of Qualifying is unchanged: 3 segments, with 5 cars knocked out after Q1 and another 5 after Q2, then the top 10 shootout in Q3. The big change is that they will only use the soft compound tyres in Quali.
Unfortunately the timing of Quali (Friday 1pm) meant I was in meetings and couldn’t watch it live 🙁
Q1: OCO jumped up to P3 on his final lap but ended up P7 as others improved too; VER P1, HAM P2
Q2: HAM P1, RUS P7, NOR P10 so all the Brits are through to Q3
Qualifying session 3:
SAI 1:27.638
PER 1:26.844
BOT 1:26.548
HAM 1:26.134
(VER P2)
After one run, order is: HAM, VER, BOT, PER, NOR, RIC, RUS, LEC, SAI, VET
HAM hangs the tail out and doesn’t improve
BOT P3
VET P10
SAI P8
NOR P5
LEC P4
VER P2
PER P4 but it’s deleted for exceeding track limits
So the grid for the Sprint will be: HAM, VER, BOT, LEC, PER, NOR, RIC, RUS, SAI, VET, ALO, GAS, OCO, GIO, STR, TSU, RAI, LAT, SCH, MAZ

And so on to Saturday morning’s Free Practice session
FP2: VER (1:29.902), LEC, SAI, OCO, PER, NOR, RIC, HAM, BOT, GAS, RUS, GIO, ALO, RAI, LAT, TSU, VET, STR, MAZ, SCH

This brings us to the Sprint Qualifying session…
The FIA has been quite adamant that the Sprint should not be called a race, but it is 100km (17 laps) that will set the grid for tomorrow’s race, there are points for the top 3 finishers but no mandatory pit stops, so they’ll all be going flat out!
They’re already under parc ferme conditions (since the end of FP1) so a big question will be whether to make a risky move to gain a grid position but maybe incur damage that jeopardises their race?

The pit lane is open, so cars can head to the grid
Grid: HAM, VER, BOT, LEC, PER, NOR, RIC, RUS, SAI, VET, ALO, GAS, OCO, GIO, STR, TSU, RAI, LAT, SCH, MAZ
They will all have a free choice of tyres for the race start, so they can pick the best tyres for the 17 laps without worrying about having to re-use them
Air temperature 27°C; track 48°C; zero chance of rain; humidity 46%; wind 1.8km/h
It’s not a race (remember!) so there’s no pre-race ceremonies – it’s straight to the formation lap
HAM leads everyone away – mostly on medium tyres (C3 compound), except BOT, ALO, OCO and RAI on soft (C2)

01/17: VER takes the lead off the grid – the were flames from his front-left brakes as he waited for the start
MAZ spins in Turn 1

02: VER, HAM, BOT, LEC, ALO, NOR, PER, RIC, VET, RUS
HAM has a look around the outside but VER keeps P1
Contact between RUS and SAI

03: HAM fastest lap 1:30.609 but there’s no points for f/lap in the Sprint
PER closing on NOR
No investigation in the MAZ/SCH incident on lap 1
Incident involving RUS and SAI “noted”

04: VER 1:30.424

05/17: VER, HAM, BOT, LEC, ALO, NOR, PER, RIC, VET, RUS, OCO, GAS, RAI, SAI, STR, GIO, LAT, TSU, SCH, MAZ
VER 1:30.357
NOR looks at a gap but ALO closes the door
PER spins, off across the gravel but finds his way back to the track

06: HAM 1:30.321
NOR takes P5 from ALO
Incident involving RUS and SAI under investigation

07: VER 1:30.199
RIC closing on ALO

08: Incident involving RUS and SAI will be investigated after the session

09: VER 1:30.190
RIC sneaks past ALO for P6
ALO fights back but RIC stays ahead
SAI takes P12 from RAI

10/17: VER, HAM, BOT, LEC, NOR, RIC, ALO, VET, RUS, OCO, GAS, SAI, RAI, STR, GIO, TSU, LAT, PER, SCH, MAZ
The soft tyres seem to be going off
Radio from HAM asking for more power

11: HAM 1:30.065
VET now closing on ALO

12: Radio from HAM asking for more power again; he’s told VER has a right-front blister, “Same here, man”

14: VER 1:30.049
SAI inside GAS to steal P11

15/17: VER, HAM, BOT, LEC, NOR, RIC, ALO, VET, RUS, OCO, SAI, GAS, RAI, STR, GIO, TSU, LAT, PER, SCH, MAZ
VER 1:30.013
Radio for ALO telling him he’s got a warning for moving under braking

16: Radio for VER telling him he’s 3sec clear of HAM, asking him to stay off the kerbs
SAI closing on OCO

17 = final lap: Radio for PER telling him they need to retire the car

VER takes the chequered flag
HAM P2, 1:29.937
BOT P3

VER is the first F1 driver to be awarded a wreath since Alain Prost in 1985!

Provisional result of the sprint = grid for the race: VER, HAM, BOT, LEC, NOR, RIC, ALO, VET, RUS*, OCO, SAI*, GAS, RAI, STR, GIO, TSU, LAT, SCH, MAZ; PER in the pits
*Incident involving RUS and SAI will be investigated after the session

Reminder: VER +3 points; HAM +2; BOT +1; so now VER is 33pts ahead of HAM.

[2021 calendar] [2021 line-up] [Points standings]

2 thoughts on “Grand Prix of Great Britain – Qualifying & Sprint”

  1. “George Russell has received a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s British Grand Prix after the stewards found that he forced Carlos Sainz off track in the F1 Sprint on Saturday.”
    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.russell-hit-with-three-place-grid-penalty-for-sundays-british-gp-after-sainz.4j19GLVkG9qvr3KcFVj3hh.html
    “The stewards’ added that Russell was given a grid penalty, not a time penalty, due to the nature of the Sprint format.”
    So RUS drops to P12, behind GAS
    “Sainz did receive a warning from the stewards for failing to follow the Race Director’s instructions on practice starts in FP2, as did Nikita Mazepin (19th) and Sebastian Vettel (eighth).”

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