Lewis Hamilton bagged his seventh Silverstone pole position as the W11s once again destroyed the field, clinching Mercedes’ third front row lock out of 2020.
Max Verstappen qualified his Red Bull in third place while his team-mate Alex Albon had another Saturday to forget.
Not for the first time in a qualifying session, and definitely not for the last, the drivers all decided to put in their laps at the exact same time in Q1, forming a queue all the way through to Vale.
The usual complaints of impeding were uttered but that had no bearing on those at the top of the timesheet with Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll the fastest four.
Nico Hulkenberg, filling in for Sergio Perez, made life difficult for himself as he got squirrely on the exit of the Loop and was down in 12th place when he pitted for a fresh set of soft tyres. He made it into Q2, jumping up to fifth late in the session.
Those who didn’t make it out: Kevin Magnussen, Antonio Giovinazzi, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean and Nicholas Latifi.
Latifi had a moment at Luffield that cost him and may yet have cost his team-mate, Russell, as the Brit was under investigation for not slowing for the yellow flags.
He said: “I definitely backed off, you’ll see it on the throttle trace on entry, I was well in control.”
❌ ELIMINATED IN Q1 ❌
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 1, 2020
Mercedes, Red Bull, Racing Point and McLaren left the pits with the medium tyres in Q2 with Ferrari switching its strategy, yellows for Charles Leclerc and softs for Sebastian Vettel.
While Bottas clocked a 1:25.015 to go a full second quicker than Verstappen and Leclerc, Hamilton spun his W11 at Luffield. Spewing gravel onto the track upon his return, the session was red flagged to allow the marshals to clear the debris.
Hamilton has spun!
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 1, 2020
Hamilton was one of the first out when the green light came out, leaving the pits on a brand new set of medium tyres. He went second fastest, 0.332s down on Bottas and eight tenths up on Verstappen.
The other Red Bull didn’t make it, Alex Albon finishing in 12th place ahead of Hulkenberg.
Out in Q2: Pierre Gasly, Albon, Hulkenbrerg, Daniil Kvyat and Russell. Kvyat has a five-place gearbox penalty.
For Q3 the drivers decided to start their traffic jams in the pit lane with Stroll having to stamp on his brakes to avoid Leclerc. That is under investigation.
While those antics were going on Mercedes romped to a 1-2 with Hamilton taking the early advantage with a 1:24.616, 0.150s up on Bottas.
Verstappen, best of the rest, was a full second slower than the Mercedes team-mate, lining up ahead of Stroll, Leclerc and Vettel.
Heading out for a second run Hamilton laid down another track record, a 1:24.303, to beat Bottas to pole position by three-tenths.
Leclerc was the big mover, up to third place but that was short lived as Verstappen took it back. The Dutchman, though, was a full second slower than Hamilton.
Lando Norris qualified P5 ahead of Stroll, Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon and Vettel.
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.303
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.313s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1.022s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1.124s
5 Lando Norris McLaren 1.479s
6 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1.536s
7 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1.662s
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1.706s
9 Esteban Ocon Renault 1.906s
10 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 2.036s
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:26.501
12 Alex Albon Red Bull 1:26.545
13 Nico Hulkenberg Racing Point 1:26.566
14 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 1:26.744
15 George Russell Williams 1:27.092
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:27.158
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 1:27.164
18 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 1:27.366
19 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:27.643
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:27.705
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