Site logo

Hamilton storms to Silverstone pole

NEWS STORY
15/07/2017

This morning's session had all the makings of being something very special, and then the Weather Gods decided to have some fun.

With the threat of rain - or British summer as it's known locally - hanging over the second half of the session, the teams opted to some Q3 sims quite early.

It soon became clear that despite the obvious advantage enjoyed by Mercedes yesterday, Ferrari's latest engine upgrade appears to have closed the gap, despite the German team also having an upgrade.

The top three, Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas were covered by just 0.074s, but then the weather slowly began to take a turn for the worse.

An already intriguing weekend was given added spice overnight with news of grid penalties for Bottas and Ricciardo, both drivers in receipt of new gearboxes, while poor old Alonso's grid demotion is now almost a custom.

Even before the rain arrived conditions were difficult, with the wind almost literally blowing a number of drivers off course yesterday.

Behind the leading three, Raikkonen was fourth, albeit 0.7s off the pace, ahead of Hulkenberg - yes, Nico Hulkenberg - Ricciardo, Grosjean - yes, Romain Grosjean - Verstappen, Massa and Vandoorne.

While there has been so further rain between the session, due to the cool temperatures the track remains damp. Race Control suggests there is a 90% chance of rain over the next hour.

Ahead of Q1, the air temperature is 16 degrees, while the track temperature is 22 degrees.

This is England in July... and Zak Brown wants to do pre-season testing here... in February. Yeh, right!

In the final moments before Q1 it starts to rain... or "change in climatic conditions" as Race Control would have it.

Ahead of the lights, Verstappen and Ricciardo are already waiting, both on the Inters.

"Very fine drops," Ricciardo is told, "we expect it to be greasy". Nonetheless, a number of drivers - indeed quite a few, including the Mercedes duo - are on supersofts.

Asked what he thinks, Verstappen, so slouch in the wet, insists "it's Inters".

"It is very slippery," reports Bottas.

Some teams are gambling on a split strategy, one driver on slicks the other on Inters.

On Inters, Vettel reports: "Genuinely the way to go".

As those on slicks pit for Inters the rain increases in intensity. "It's raining, raining, raining," warns Raikkonen.

Ricciardo posts 42.966, Hulkenberg 43.027 and Verstappen 43.166 as Sainz is off at Copse. Raikkonen also struggling to remain on track.

As Hamilton runs wide in Village, Hamilton is told there will be two or three minutes of rain after which the track will begin to dry. Not at these temperatures it won't.

Vettel goes fourth (44.059) but nobody is getting close to Ricciardo's best.

Which is probably just as well as the Australian is off track at T8, the Red Bull driver reporting a turbo issue.

As Hamilton goes third (43.13), the session is red flagged as Ricciardo's car is recovered.

The clock is stopped with 10:07 remaining, Wehrlein and Ericsson still to post a time. The Sauber duo, along with Stroll, Magnussen and Palmer comprise the drop zone.

The turbo issue brings Ricciardo's run of 38 appearances in Q3 to an end.

The session resumes and as drivers head out they are all on the Inters.

"We're expecting around three more minutes of rain and then it will ease off slightly," Raikkonen is told.

Raikkonen improves from 14th to 5th with a 43.315 as Vettel and Hamilton both look set to go a lot quicker.

Indeed, the Briton posts 41.296 as Perez goes second (42.009).

A 42.196 sees Bottas go third, only to be demoted when Vetel bangs in a 40.056.

Ocon goes sixth (42.579) as Ricciardo plummets down the standings to 8th... 9th... 10th.

As Verstappen goes quickest in S1, Alonso slips to 20th.

Told there will be no more rain, Vettel reports that it is still very wet at a number of corners.

Verstappen posts 38.912 as Hamilton improves to 39.69.

"I'm thinking of stopping for dries," says Alonso. "OK, let's give it a go," he is told. Ocon makes a similar switch.
A late improvement for Stroll who goes 12th (42.573), as Alonso is confident he made it to the line to begin his flying lap before the chequered flag.

Ocon improves to 5th (39.738) on the slicks, while Alonso posts 37.598 to go quickest, much to the delight of the crowd. Brilliant, brave and typically Fernando.

Quickest is Alonso, ahead of Verstappen, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Ocon, Vettel, Vandoorne, Raikkonen and Sainz.

We lose Stroll, Magnussen, Wehrlein, Ericsson and Ricciardo.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone, here.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2019. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms