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Bottas celebrates Anniversary pole


Ahead of today's qualifying session, the air temperature is 26.4 degrees C, while the track temperature is 43.5 degrees.

If nothing else, the next hour will hopefully allow us some respite from the ongoing rows over Racing Point and the Concorde Agreement, though should the Silverstone-based outfit lock-out the second row again...

This afternoon - and tomorrow - is going to be all about tyres, for while the softs have the outright pace they have no durability.

That said, earlier we saw Lando Norris set some very impressive times on the mediums, so therefore, as we look ahead to Q2, while teams are likely to try and make it through on the yellow-banded rubber, will anyone take the gamble and go for it on hards?

Other than tyres, the other factor this weekend, and particularly this morning, was the wind, which, combined with the increasing temperatures, is going to cause the boffins - and the drivers -some headaches.

With Norris third quickest earlier, just ahead of the Racing Point pair, we could be in for some fun and games, especially in terms of Verstappen who appeared his customary angry, frustrated self earlier.

While we can expect to see the Haas and Alfa pairs vie with Russell for that final Q2 slot, the battle in the second phase of the session is sure to bring some surprises.

One thing that continues to mystify however, is how, on one of the longest tracks on the schedule, we still have issues with traffic. Why can't drivers be sent out into clear air as opposed to heading out in groups.

The lights go green and Magnussen leads the way, followed by Grosjean an Hulkenberg. The Haas pair on mediums and the Racing Point on softs.

An early mistake from Magnussen means his lap is compromised from the outset.

The Dane posts 28.798 but this is immediately beaten bt teammate Grosjean (28.456).

Hulkenberg stops the clock at 27.279 to go top, with Russell going second (28.442) shortly after. The Briton is on the mediums.

The big guns appear in one fell swoop, leaving Stroll, Ocon and Ricciardo as the late starters.

Grosjean admits surprise at the low grip.

As more drivers head out, they are all on softs.

Giovinazzi can only manage 28.921, the Italian subsequently leapfrogged by his teammate (28.818).

Leclerc goes second (27.737), Norris third and Vettel fourth, the German 1.056s off the pace.

Hamilton posts 27.231 but Bottas responds with a 27.175.

Verstappen posts 27.154 to leapfrog the Black Arrows, while Albon can only manage 13th (28.482) after the Thai driver runs wide in Chapel.

"It's very windy out there," says Verstappen, as if to explain.

Gasly goes fifth (27.590), ahead of Leclerc, Kvyat, Ocon, Norris and Sainz.

Stroll can only manage 13th (28.240), just behind Grosjean who has improved to 28.118.

Hamilton takes the top spot with a 26.818, as Leclerc posts 27.427 to go fifth.

The stewards are investigating Ocon and Russell after the Renault driver appeared to impede the Briton on the Hangar Straight.

Along with the usual suspects, Albon is also currently in the danger zone.

Ocon admits that he is likely to be penalised for his misdemeanour.

As the final assault gets underway, the Mercedes pair also head out.

Hulkenberg still fourth with that mighty 27.279, appears to have settled for his time, as have Verstappen and Leclerc.

Russell improves to eighth with a 27.757 as the timing screen lights up like St Patricks Day (Green!).

Gasly goes fifth and Albon third, while Vettel goes 11th.

The German is demoted by Grosjean, while Kvyat's time is deleted.

Stroll goes sixth, as Bottas goes top with a 26.738.

Ocon posts 27.278 to go eighth.

Quickest is Bottas, ahead of Hamilton, Albon, Verstappen, Gasly, Stroll, Norris, Ocon, Hulkenberg and Leclerc.

We lose Kvyat, Magnussen, Latifi, Giovinazzi and Raikkonen.

Replay shows Kvyat not doing his car any favours when he runs wide at Chapel. "I think I've damaged the car," he admits.

Now, we wait to see what tyre strategy the teams opt for in the all-important second phase.

Grosjean gets Q2 underway, followed by Ocon, both opting for the softs.

Hamilton and Bottas are among the first out, the Mercedes pair also opting for the red-banded rubber.

Verstappen however, heads out on hards. Hulkenberg is on mediums. The rest are on softs.

Grosjean posts 28.750, but moments later Ocon crosses the line at a more sensible 27.292

Hamilton stops the clock at 26.266, but Bottas responds with a 25.785, eclipsing the world champion by 0.481s.

Verstappen goes fourth (26.779) on the hards, just behind Ricciardo (26.636).

While the Ferrari pair remain in their garages, Hulkenberg runs wide in Chapel and consequently can only manage 11th (27.478).

The Ferrari pair head out, both on softs.

Leclerc goes quickest in S1, and while Vettel goes on to post (23.379) to go tenth, the Monegasque goes fourth with a 26.709.

With 6:30 remaining, and Russell yet to appear, Vettel, Sainz, Hulkenberg and Grosjean comprise the drop zone.

Russell heads out, the Williams driver enjoying a clear track. The youngster posts 27.455 to go 12th, two one-thousandths slower than Vettel.

As in Q1, the Mercedes pair come out for a late run, though they stick with the softs- no pun intended - a number of other drivers have now switched to mediums. Sainz appears to be on hards.

Gasly looks set to improve on the mediums, as does Ocon.

Hamilton goes quickest in S1 as Norris improves to seventh.

A 26.261 sees Hulkenberg split the Mercedes pair.

Gasly goes fourth, while Ocon fails to make the cut.

Albon goes sixth, while Vettel can only manage 12th (27.078).

Stroll improves to seventh, but it is his teammate who gets the applause.

Quickest is Bottas, ahead of Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Gasly, Ricciardo, Albon, Stroll, Leclerc, Verstappen and Norris.

We lose Ocon, Vettel, Sainz, Grosjean and Russell.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone, here.


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1. Posted by F1 Yank, 08/08/2020 21:04

"I would agree with Nortim, Hulkenberg is the story this weekend! Seriously, kick a good driver out of his seat and they come back hungrier than ever! Hulkenberg has already proven he can drive and probably should have gone to another spot on the grid from last year's shuffle. Hopefully Hulk will not be dubbed just a "super sub". Put him in a Haas! This season is an exhibition anyway."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Nortim, 08/08/2020 15:48

"Is that RP the best car Hulk has ever driven? Go Hulk!"

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