Sunday, May 19, 2024

Verstappen Takes Pole but Norris the Hero at Silverstone

Max Verstappen took another pole positon for Oracle Red Bull Racing at the British Grand Prix, but it was Lando Norris who took the headlines at Silverstone with the home favourite getting a front row start much to the delight of his home crowd, just ahead of his teammate Oscar Piastri.

Q1 – Pérez Out Again!

The start of Q1 saw a mixture of tyres, with some drivers opting for the soft compound tyres and others, including Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr, going for the wet weather intermediate tyres but the ones on the intermediates soon pitted for a switch to the soft.

The first two drivers on track were George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, with the latter having a spin on his first lap attempt, but fortunately for the home fans, the eight-time Silverstone winner managed to keep the car out of the wall and get it back onto the track.

A red flag came out with three minutes to go, due to Kevin Magnussen stopping on track, which made for an incredible last few minutes of qualifying with the track ramping up. Sergio Pérez was first out of the garage, and it cost him. As he crossed the line, the Mexican went fastest but by the time the session ended, he found himself in the bottom five.

Magnussen will start back of the grid following his issues in Q1 and will be joined on the back row by Nyck de Vries, who struggled once again. Zhou Guanyu and Yuki Tsunoda were also knocked out.

Norris set the fastest lap in Q1, pleasing the home fans, followed by Leclerc and the other two home favourites, Hamilton and Russell.

Q2 – Home Trio Make it Through

Q2 was just as exciting as Q1 with track evolution once again having a huge part to play.

Once again the final few minutes of the session saw the order change fully, with even the top drivers scrambling to get their laps in to avoid a shock exit like Pérez suffered in Q1.

Vallteri Bottas made it through to Q2 but an electrical issue saw him get no running in Q2 and he will start fifteenth on the grid for Sunday’s race. Logan Sargeant was going well in Q1, but a deleted lap time saw him fall down to fourteenth and he failed to put in another time to get him out of trouble. Although the American will be disappointed to not make Q3 like his teammate, he is certainly in contention for points in the race.

Credit; Dan Mullan/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll nearly had a coming together on the final corner before their final push laps and despite not making contact, it affected Ocon’s laptime and will now see the pair start thirteenth and twelfth on the grid respectively.

Pierre Gasly secured the final place in Q3 just ahead of Nico Hülkenberg.

Q3 – Norris Puts his McLaren on Front Row, Piastri just Behind

With the track still drying, Q3 made for an interesting session and it certainly produced some surprises.

The last running of the session once again saw the order completely change with the track constantly becoming quicker. Gasly couldn’t improve on his performance in Q2 but will take confidence in a Q3 appearance and a tenth place start for the race.

Fernando Alonso won’t be happy with his own performance, with Aston Martin Armaco Cognizant F1 Team starting ninth and thirteenth on the grid for their home Grand Prix. The top seven were incredibly close, seven-time World Champion and British hero, Hamilton could only do enough for seventh just behind his teammate Russell in sixth.

Just under a tenth quicker than seventh place Hamilton, Leclerc took fourth with Sainz behind in fifth.

The biggest story of the day though was McLaren’s performance, Piastri manage to secure third on the grid, his best qualifying result in Formula 1. The headlines were stolen though, by his teammate, Norris, who managed to put his McLaren on the front row with a massive raw coming from the British crowd.

Norris was only beaten by Verstappen, who was the only driver with two sets of soft tyres remaining, and the Dutchman used them to good effect and managed to put his car on pole position for the fifth consecutive race.

1 1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 1:29.428 1:27.702 1:26.720 26
2 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:28.917 1:28.042 1:26.961 26
3 81 Oscar Piastri MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:29.874 1:27.845 1:27.092 26
4 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:29.143 1:28.361 1:27.136 25
5 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:29.865 1:28.265 1:27.148 26
6 63 George Russell MERCEDES 1:29.412 1:28.782 1:27.155 24
7 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:29.415 1:28.545 1:27.211 25
8 23 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:29.466 1:28.067 1:27.530 25
9 14 Fernando Alonso ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:29.949 1:28.368 1:27.659 24
10 10 Pierre Gasly ALPINE RENAULT 1:29.533 1:28.751 1:27.689 24
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg HAAS FERRARI 1:29.603 1:28.896 17
12 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:29.448 1:28.935 19
13 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:29.700 1:28.956 18
14 2 Logan Sargeant WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:29.873 1:29.031 19
15 77 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:29.798 11
16 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 1:29.968 11
17 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 1:30.025 11
18 24 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:30.123 11
19 21 Nyck De Vries ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 1:30.513 11
20 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:32.378 7