2013 British Grand Prix qualifying
Lewis Hamilton will start the British Grand Prix from pole position for the second time in his career following a stunning lap that secured the top spot for the Mercedes driver by four tenths of a second.
Hamilton will share the front row of the grid with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, with the Red Bull pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber behind on the second row. Force India’s Paul di Resta will begin his home grand prix from fifth place, while Daniel Ricciardo took an impressive sixth place in the Toro Rosso.
In clear conditions with the wind running across the circuit, there was plenty of early action. Lotus’s Romain Grosjean set the initial pace, with the car emitting a shower of sparks through the fast Maggots, Becketts, Chapel section.
At the mid point of the session, the Mercedes drivers made their first outing. Lewis Hamilton lowered the benchmark to a 1’30.995 – the team’s fastest lap of the weekend.
As time expired in the first session, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa had just one lap to take him out of the drop-zone, and only just achieved it with a time that left him 14th. The battle over the final Q2 slot was then a straight fight between Williams teammates Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado, with the Venezulean just pipping the Finn to 16th by a tenth.
Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez was eliminated from Q1 for the sixth time in eight races, managing only 18th, while Marussia’s Jules Bianchi was 1.7 seconds quicker than Max Chilton.
Despite recieving a ten-place grid penalty for this weekend due to his Canadian Grand Prix collision with Mark Webber, Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde opted to set a time.
Drivers eliminated in Q1
|21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1’35.481|
In the second session, the Mercedes teammates would once again occupy the top two places on the time sheets after the initial runs, with all drivers opting for Medium tyres.
Webber was told after his first effort of a 1’31.3 that he was on the edge of the expected cut off time and would need to run again, while Kimi Raikkonen’s first lap left him only ninth, a full second behind Hamilton.
With only six minutes remaining in the session, Sebastian Vettel took to the circuit for the first time. He would eclipse the Mercedes with a 1’30.990 – five thousandths of a second faster than Hamilton’s Q1 benchmark.
Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne ran wide at the exit of Becketts, ruining a lap that would otherwise have put him into the top ten at that stage in the session, and his second lap proved only good enough for a unfortunate 13th pace. The Frenchman’s misery was compounded by team mate Daniel Ricciardo comfortably qualifying for the final shoot-out with an impressive lap that put him fifth by the end of the session.
At their home circuit, McLaren suffered yet another disappointing Saturday afternoon, with both cars eliminated after Raikkonen just beat Jenson Button to tenth place. After his session-ending crash yesterday afternoon, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa struggled to match the pace of teammate Fernando Alonso, managing only 12th.
Unsurprisingly, the final eliminated drivers were Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber and Pastor Maldonado in the sole-surviving Williams.
Drivers eliminated in Q2
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’31.785|
The final shoot-out for pole looked set to be a three-way battle between the Mercedes teammates and Vettel.
Webber was the first to set a benchmark with a 1’30.508. That was immediately eclipsed by Rosberg, who was then himself beaten by Hamilton, who almost broke the 90 second barrier with a 1’30.096.
Vettel’s first effort put him fourth, while the two Force Indias and Raikkonen opted to remain in the pit lane in order to attempt just one flying lap each at the end of the session.
With the chequered flag flying, Webber’s second effort was not enough to beat Hamilton to provisional pole. Rosberg then took the top spot, just thousandths of a second faster than his team mate with a 1’30.059.
But it was not enough for Rosberg to secure his fourth pole of a season as Lewis Hamilton produced a stunning lap to snatch pole by four tenths with a 1’29.607 to the audible delight of the Silverstone crowd. Vettel’s second effort was not good enough to match the Mecedes, but it was enough to put him ahead of his teammate on the all Red Bull second row.
Force India will be delighted to have secured fifth and seventh on the grid with strong performances from di Resta and Sutil respectively, while Ricciardo consolidated his impressive Q2 showing by taking sixth place on the grid.
It was a surprising result for both Lotus drivers, with Grosjean and Raikkonen only able to manage eighth and ninth on the grid respectively, while Alonso and Ferrari will be perplexed by the performance of the F138 as the double world champion finished bottom of the session and will line up for tomorrow’s race from tenth on the grid.
Top ten in Q3
|3||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’30.211|
|4||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’30.220|
|5||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’30.736|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’30.757|
|7||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’30.908|
2013 British Grand Prix
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- Hamilton voted top driver of British Grand Prix
- 2013 British Grand Prix team radio transcript
- 2013 British Grand Prix fans’ video gallery
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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei