Lewis Hamilton on pole for British Grand Prix

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton lit up a spectator-less Silverstone to put his Mercedes on pole position for the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton delivered a track record at the Northamptonshire circuit to secure the 91st pole of his career and cement his status as the pre-race favourite to win here for a stunning seventh time.

Hamilton saw off team-mate Valtteri Bottas by an impressive 0.313 seconds, with the all-black machines continuing to crush their bewildered opposition.

33 PHOTOS
British Grand Prix
See Gallery
British Grand Prix
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton gestures on the winners' podium holding the trophy after winning the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on August 2, 2020. - Lewis Hamilton survived a dramatic finale to win the British Grand Prix on Sunday, just making it across the line on three tyres to beat a fast closing Max Verstappen on Red Bull. The defending world champion claimed his seventh British Grand Prix win as Ferarri's Charles Leclerc came third and Daniel Ricciardo of Renault fourth. (Photo by Bryn Lennon / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BRYN LENNON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, center, celebrates his victory on the podium with second placed Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, left and third placed Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (Ben Stansall/Pool via AP)
Race winner Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain adjusts his hair after getting out of his car after the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain sprays champagne at the podium after winning the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain inspects puncture on his car after winning the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (Bryn Lennon/Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car with flat tire during the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)
The damaged tyres of Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton's car are pictured after he won the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on August 2, 2020. - Lewis Hamilton survived a dramatic finale to win the British Grand Prix on Sunday, just making it across the line on three tyres to beat a fast closing Max Verstappen on Red Bull. The defending world champion claimed his seventh British Grand Prix win as Ferarri's Charles Leclerc came third and Daniel Ricciardo of Renault fourth. (Photo by Will Oliver / POOL / AFP) (Photo by WILL OLIVER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault on track with a punctured tyre during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Andrew Boyers/Pool via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 leads Esteban Ocon of France driving the (31) Renault Sport Formula One Team RS20 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault on track as Kevin Magnussen of Denmark driving the (20) Haas F1 Team VF-20 Ferrari crashes into a track barrier in the background during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Ben Stansall/Pool via Getty Images)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) leads Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas as they drive during the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on August 2, 2020. (Photo by Will Oliver / POOL / AFP) (Photo by WILL OLIVER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (R) follows the safety car during the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on August 2, 2020. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: The car of Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia AlphaTauri is removed from the track after he crashed into a track barrier during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Andrew Boyers/Pool via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: F1 drivers kneel on the grid in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 leads Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Andrew Boyers/Pool via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 leads a line of cars during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (2L) and Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (L) lead at the first corner of the first lap during the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on August 2, 2020. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 leads Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000, Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB16 and Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren F1 Team MCL35 Renault battle for position during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: A spitfire performs a fly-past in support of the NHS before the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 02, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (C) and fellow drivers make a statement on the track as they prepare to 'take a knee' in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, prior to the start of the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on August 2, 2020. (Photo by Bryn Lennon / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BRYN LENNON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after he clocked the fastest time during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Will Oliver/Pool via AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, left, celebrates with team members after he clocked the fastest time during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Will Oliver/Pool via AP)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands enters the pit lane after he clocked the third fastest time during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Ben Stansall/Pool via AP)
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the qualifying session session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (Andrew Boyers/Pool via AP)
Red Bull driver Alexander Albon of Thailand steers his car during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 on track during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 01, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc walks away from his car after finishing fourth in the qualifying session for the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England on August 1, 2020. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Third place qualifier Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing looks on in parc ferme during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 01, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Will Oliver/Pool via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Pole position qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on August 01, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finished third, but the Dutchman was a full second slower than Hamilton. Charles Leclerc was even further back in fourth for Ferrari. British driver Lando Norris finished fifth for McLaren.

Hamilton headed into the top-10 shootout at a windy Silverstone having failed to finish fastest in either of the three practice sessions, and with Bottas quickest in Q1 and Q2.

There was also the rare sight of a Hamilton spin, after the six-time world champion lost control of his Mercedes on the exit of Luffield.

Hamilton made it back to the pits as the session was halted for eight minutes to clear up the mess of gravel and stones he had left behind.

He recovered to ensure he progressed to the final stage of qualifying and then predictably delivered when it mattered most, to claim pole on his seemingly unstoppable march towards a record-equalling seventh world championship. It also marked his seventh pole at his home race.

"It was real struggle out there," said Hamilton. "We had that spin and qualifying is about confidence.

"I was down in the first sector, too, so I don't know how but I managed to compose myself for Q3.

"Q3 started off the right way, it was a clean first lap and the second one was even better. It never gets old qualifying on pole.

"Normally you have the sirens going off, the flags, the smoke and the atmosphere is buzzing. We miss the fans here but hopefully they are happy with my turnaround watching at home."

Sebastian Vettel finished 10th, an eye-watering two seconds slower than Hamilton while Alexander Albon's rocky campaign continued as he was unable to get his Red Bull through to Q3.

Red Bull are historically ruthless in axing drivers and the London-born Albon, who qualified only 12th here, faces a precarious future if his one-lap performances fail to improve.

Albon will line up one place ahead of Nico Hulkenberg. The German is deputising for Sergio Perez this weekend after the Mexican became the first Formula One driver to return a positive Covid-19 test result.

In Perez's absence, Lance Stroll, in the other Racing Point, sneaked through to Q3 before qualifying sixth.

George Russell made it out of the opening phase of qualifying for the third time in as many races, putting his Williams 15th on the grid.

Remarkably, the young British driver has beaten his team-mate over one lap in all 25 of his F1 appearances.

Russell whitewashed Robert Kubica in qualifying last term and is 4-0 up on rookie team-mate Nicholas Latifi this year.

However, he could face a grid penalty with the stewards investigating if he slowed sufficiently under waved yellow flags.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS