x

Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

British Grand Prix: Hamilton holds off Raikkonen and Vettel to take pole 

The Mercedes-GP driver was quickest in qualifying ahead of the Ferrari duo, with teammate Valtteri Bottas set to start ninth

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Britih Grand Prix. Frank Augstein / AP Photo
Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Britih Grand Prix. Frank Augstein / AP Photo

Lewis Hamilton claimed the 67th pole position of his career to ensure he starts at the front for Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The Briton lapped the Silverstone track in a time of 1 minute, 26.600 seconds to be more than half-a-second quicker than the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton trails championship leader Vettel by 20 points in the standings, and a fifth win at Silverstone, and fourth in a row, would make in-roads into that deficit.

The triple world champion's teammate Valtteri Bottas was a disappointing fourth, having topped the times in Friday in practice, and he will start ninth due to a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Jumping ahead of the Finn are the Red Bull Racing car of Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg's Renault, the two Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Estaban Ocon, and the McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne.

"You always try to save the best till last," said Hamilton, who closed to within one of Michael Schumacher's record of 68 poles. "I felt very comfortable in these conditions - they are the conditions we grew up racing in here in England."

"It felt OK, but the conditions were not easy, changing a lot," Raikkonen said. "The car felt the best it had this weekend, but not quite fast enough for first place."

Vettel said: "The car came alive this morning and that was really good. It's a shame there that in the last run in Q3 there was not more time!"

Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo's chances of a sixth successive podium finish were hampered after a problem with the turbo in his Red Bull car's Renault engine stopped him on track early in qualifying.

The Australian, who already had a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, was the slowest of the 20 cars.

It was also a day of mixed fortunes for McLaren's Fernando Alonso. He was surprise fastest in mixed conditions in the first part of qualifying, but then was held up in the second session to be only 13th and be out-qualified by his teammate Vandoorne for the first time this season.

Alonso was already set to start at the back anyhow due to a 30-place grid penalty for changes to his Honda engine.

Sunday's race starts at 4pm UAE time.