Russell on pole for F1 British Grand Prix as home trio take top three spots

George Russell took pole for the British Grand Prix for Mercedes with a superb lap at Silverstone, beating his teammate Lewis Hamilton into second with the McLaren of Lando Norris in third, completing a home top three for the first time at the Silverstone. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fourth and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri finished in fifth.

After a remarkably competitive and tense session, the home crowd were treated to an absolute thriller as the British drivers delivered to absolute acclaim. For Mercedes this was a return to the form they have been reaching after for more than two years and they finally delivered with no little style.

On the final runs in Q3 the track was dry after rain early in the session and for the opening hot laps Verstappen opened strongly but was swiftly eclipsed by Norris and Piastri who were both on a charge on the slick tyres. Their lead was short-lived however as Russell found even more in the final sector, topping the timesheets with 1 minute 26.024 second time, in a British top three, in front of Norris and Hamilton, with only a tenth between them and Norris just six-thousandths off.

With the track rubbering-in the final laps were decisive, Verstappen once more opened but had a slide at the loop, and lost time, while Hamilton flew in the final sector taking provisional pole, only to be passed by Russell with an exceptional final lap of 1min 25.819sec, over a tenth clear of his teammate. It completed an all-British top three, with Norris, who could not improve in third.

It is, significantly, Mercedes’ second pole this season in short order after Russell took the top spot in Canada, which will be of huge import for the team, especially coming on the back of Russell taking their first win since 2022 at the last round in Austria. With the pace on display here they will feel like another win might be within their grasp.

This is Russell’s first pole in Silverstone and the third of his career. He was disappointed at not converting pole to a win in Canada, after he made several errors and will be determined to execute flawlessly on Sunday to claim his third F1 win.

The finish represented the culmination of a series of upgrades that the team had been bringing since the Miami Grand Prix, including a new front wing at the Monaco GP.

The session had opened in damp conditions, with rain having hit the circuit repeatedly through the morning. However, as the track dried sufficiently for slick tyres, it was red-flagged when Sergio Pérez, whose place at Red Bull is under serious threat, did himself no favours going off at Copse, which ended his session and he will start from 19th.

George Russell on his way to pole position at the British GP. Photograph: Benjamin Cremel/AFP/Getty Images

After the delay when qualifying resumed, so did the rain, making conditions tricky and the final laps still on slicks vital, with Verstappen going off and barely missing the wall before he just put in a lap to see him through to Q2.

As the track once more dried during Q2, the times began falling as the grip improved and the sun began to shine for the first time in the day.

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Lance Stroll was eighth for Aston Martin but is under investigation for leaving the pit lane under a red light.

Nico Hülkenberg was in sixth for Haas, Carlos Sainz seventh for Ferrari, Alex Albon ninth for Williams and Fernando Alonso 10th for Aston Martin.

Charles Leclerc was a disappointing 11th for Ferrari, Logan Sargeant 12th for Williams, Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo 13th and 15th for RB and Zhou Guanyu 14th for Sauber.

Valtteri Bottas was in 16th for Sauber, Kevin Magnussen in 17th for Haas, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly in 18th and 20th, with the latter already carrying a grid penalty.

Verstappen leads Norris by 81 points in the world championship.

The Guardian

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