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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Formula 1: Brits dominate Silverstone qualifying as Russell takes pole

Formula 1’s crown jewel delivered on Saturday and three Brits will line-up at the front of the grid for the British Grand Prix after George Russell beat Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris to pole at Silverstone.

It was a mixed weather session for the drivers as the sporadic rain showers made conditions difficult on the track.

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But it ended up being a treat for the sell-out crowd as top spot was decided on the final flying laps, with Russell leading the way.

Hamilton crossed the line first, taking provisional pole, before Russell beat his time by nearly two tenths.

Norris made a mistake on his final run, costing him time and the youngest of the top three aborted his lap, meaning Mercedes lock out the front row, with Norris in their mirrors.

Champion Max Verstappen was off the pace after doing damage to his car in the first qualifying session, but he still managed to put in the fourth quickest time.

He was disappointed on the team radio after the session but said he will give it his all tomorrow.

He said: “I gave it everything. Guys, thank you very much for trying to fix it [the damage] as much as we could, yeah great effort.

“Just really unlucky we got off there, with the rain. We’ll go at it tomorrow.”

Elsewhere, Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez did not do Red Bull any favours.

He put his car in the gravel on his first run, ending his qualifying before it even began.

Ferrari also had a disappointing day. Carlos Sainz will start the race in seventh, with Charles Leclerc all the way down in 11th.

It was a good day for Haas, with Nico Hulkenberg qualifying sixth, while Aston Martin duo Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso both sit inside the top 10.

Speaking during the interviews after qualifying, pole-sitter Russell said: “What a feeling, at the start of this year I don’t think we could of even dreamt of being on pole here, one-two for me and Lewis, and Lando it’s just mega.

The car at the moment is feeling so good, it really came alive in quali and what a joy to drive around this circuit.

“We are riding this wave at the moment and I’m absolutely buzzing, but eyes on tomorrow, we’ve got a race to win and it’s going to be tight with Lando, Max is going to be fast as well but I’m so excited right now.”

Hamilton added: “Big thanks to this incredible crowd; three Brits in the top three. And congratulations to George, he did such an amazing job.

“We definitely didn’t expect to be front row this weekend but this is huge for us. The car felt fantastic. Everyone in the garage, all our team that have come here really deserve this.

“As I said, the car felt great. it was just about getting the tyre temperatures in the right place and sealing the deal when you knew you had the time on track.

“I think, ultimately, there was still time left on the table – which George was able to find. But I feel really confident about the car tomorrow, and with the conditions we have we can work together to keep Lando behind.”

Finally, Norris said: “I’m happy with P3, three Brits lock out the top three so that’s pretty cool here.

“There were good laps by George and Lewis both they put in some nice laps and a little mistake from my part at the end but P3 is still good.

I’m excited, it’s going to be a good race. We’re quick, I can bring the fight to George and Lewis so I’m excited to put on a good show tomorrow.

“I hope we are going to have some good battles, I look forward to it.”

The British Grand Prix will get underway at 3pm on Sunday.

Mitch Fretton
Mitch Fretton
Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.
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