Lewis Hamilton pulverised Silverstone’s track record to take a seventh career British Grand Prix pole, and 91st overall, as Mercedes obliterated its Formula 1 opposition once more.
Mercedes’ advantage grew as the three-stage session progressed, leaving only Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in with a realistic shout of pole position.
Hamilton suffered a spin during Q2, causing the session to be red-flagged while marshals removed gravel from the track surface, but recovered to secure his place in Q3.
Once there he flew, finishing faster than Bottas across both runs, winding up with a new track record of 1:24.303s.
His advantage over Bottas at the conclusion of the session was 0.313s, with Bottas’ second push lap equalling the time set by Hamilton on his first Q3 effort.
Rivals far away
Mercedes’ W11 was expected to rule the roost at Silverstone and such thoughts came to fruition in Q3.
Third-placed Max Verstappen was 1.022s behind pole sitter Hamilton as no-one could get close to either of the Silver Arrows.
Charles Leclerc salvaged a second-row start for Ferrari as team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s weekend-long struggles continued.
Vettel wound up at the foot of the top 10 after having one lap deleted for exceeding track limits – but even that effort would have been good enough only for ninth.
Lando Norris maintained his encouraging start to 2020 as he classified fifth for McLaren on home turf, in front of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll.
Carlos Sainz Jr. beat Renault duo Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon to take seventh.
Another early bath for Albon
Red Bull’s Alexander Albon failed to make it through to Q2 for the second successive race, slotting into 12th place, slower than AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.
Albon, who crashed on Friday, had limited build-up in final practice after an Energy Store change meant he appeared on track for only 15 minutes.
But even accounting for the loss of track time he lagged behind team-mate Verstappen, falling four-tenths shy of the Dutchman in Q2.
Gasly set an identical time in Q2 to Stroll but the Canadian posted it first, which proved the difference between a spot in Q3 and an early finish to the day.
The returning Nico Hulkenberg was 13th after a Medium/Soft strategy failed to pay off, while AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat was 14th.
Kvyat will nonetheless drop to the back row of the grid after taking a new gearbox – incurring a five-place penalty.
Williams’ George Russell captured a Q2 spot for the third event in a row but was slowest in the session, and faces an investigation for allegedly failing to adhere to yellow flags when team-mate Nicholas Latifi went off in Q1.
Ferrari’s customers struggle again
Neither Haas nor Alfa Romeo made it through to Q2 as the Ferrari customer teams struggled for one-lap speed once more.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen eclipsed Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi by just 0.006s as once more the Switzerland-based team wound up slowest.
Kimi Raikkonen was 18th, ahead of Romain Grosjean, who had a faster lap time scrubbed off for track limits at Copse – though that effort would only have landed him one more spot.
Sole rookie Latifi finished at the back after spinning through Luffield in the closing moments of Q1.
Sunday’s 52-lap British Grand Prix will begin at 14:10 local time.
|3||M. Verstappen||Red Bull||1:25.325||+1.022|
|6||L. Stroll||Racing Point||1:25.839||+1.536|
|12||A. Albon||Red Bull||1:26.545|
|13||N. Hulkenberg||Racing Point||1:26.566|
|17||A. Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:27.164|
|18||K. Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:27.366|