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GP Week : Issue 224
PoS DrIVer teAm Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS 1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.796 1:33.068 1:32.248 14 2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:33.475 1:32.737 1:32.361 14 3 Felipe Massa Williams 1:34.542 1:33.707 1:33.085 21 4 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:34.171 1:33.020 1:33.149 19 5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:33.426 1:33.911 1:33.379 19 6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:33.562 1:33.641 1:33.547 18 7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:34.422 1:33.520 1:33.636 22 8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:24.641 1:34.071 1:33.649 19 9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:34.594 1:33.693 1:33.673 21 10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:34.272 1:33.749 1:33.943 20 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:34.250 1:34.268 14 12 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:34.646 1:34.430 9 13 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:34.819 1:34.502 14 14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:34.877 1:34.511 16 15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:34.643 1:34.868 13 16 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:34.888 7 17 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:34.959 8 18 Jenson Button McLaren 1:35.207 9 19 Will Stevens Manor 1:37.364 9 20 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:39.377 8 Q1 107% Time 1:40.362 formulA 1 round 9 british gp – Qualifying QUALIFYING Between Friday and saturday, Lewis Hamilton’s British Grand Prix turned around. On Friday the Englishman was nowhere, comparatively, and seemingly had no answers. He said as much himself. He was slow and he was lost. At that point Nico Rosberg seemed to hold all the cards. He was fastest in both Friday sessions, even with gearbox problems. Whatever it was Mercedes found on Friday night made all the difference. Hamilton was fastest in final practice and took that pace into qualifying. His advantage over Rosberg was slender, but from where he’d been to where he ended Saturday afternoon was night and day. Rosberg continued to have gearbox problems in final practice and had limited running as a result. They were different gearbox issues to those which halted him on track on Friday, but nonetheless the German managed only a few flying laps in the dying stages of practice to prepare for qualifying. Still, the pair locked out the front row with Hamilton ahead – to the delight of the partisan crowd – and comfortably so. Had it been a trouble free run up to qualifying it’s entirely plausible that both Mercedes would have been further ahead still. Silverstone is one of the longest circuits of the year, so larger gaps were expected on the grid, but few could have predicted the Mercedes would be eight tenths quicker than the two Williams. The Grove team has a habit of keeping a low profile up to qualifying. At a time when Toro Rosso had some dreaming of a second row start, mostly those at Toro Rosso, Williams quietly set about the job at hand and only showed its pace on Saturday afternoon. That pace will have been upsetting for Ferrari, which most would have agreed looked the second strongest, no matter what Max Verstappen and co might have thought. In truth, the Toro Rosso’s were fast, surprisingly so. Nico Hulkenberg described their car as planted as he following one of the Toro Rosso drivers through Copse. Around a blustery old airstrip 'planted' is a solid foundation on which to build. But in qualifying something happened to Verstappen. When both he and Carlos Sainz had been comfortably in the top ten, Verstappen went slower than his final practice best at a time when you’d expect him to go faster. The Dutchman was as confused as everyone else and complained bitterly of a lack of traction. He ended the session just 13th fastest, and not with a time that made him unlucky to be knocked out in the session part of the session. He was more than two tenths off Romain Grosjean; Verstappen simply had no pace. Interestingly Grosjean was fastest through the speed trap - 20kph faster than both McLaren drivers who both qualified on 24 GPWEEK.com // 24 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BRITAIN PARTNERS: what difference a day makes