Despite a big mistake on his final lap, Lewis Hamilton put his Mercedes in 1st for the Qualifying race tomorrow. Verstappen was only 0.07s behind, ahead of Bottas and Leclerc.
Following from their practice form, Verstappen, Hamilton and Norris jumped up the timesheets early. It was unknown exactly how hard the cars would push as ‘qualifying’ was still a day away.
Mr Saturday – Russell – kept his title, albeit a day early with a laptime that took him to 8th. The midfield was incredibly mixed, with no true idea of a pecking order being revealed. Late on, Ocon jumped ahead of Norris, who in turn was taken by Ricciardo and Sainz.
Despite being on the bubble for a substantial amount of time, Stroll scraped through as Tsunoda was not able to get out of the bottom 16. Raikkonen fell behind his team-mate again, but was able to finish infront of Latifi. It was business as usual at the back with Schumacher edging out Mazepin.
- 16th Tsunoda
- 17th Raikkonen
- 18th Latifi
- 19th Schumacher
- 20th Mazepin
All cars were forced to run the soft tyre in Q2, so this would be a good indicator of overall pace. Verstappen had blistering speed in the sessions so far, but initial runs in Q2 only placed him 0.09s ahead of Hamilton.
Before the last tour, the top 10 was separated by only 0.8s. Hamilton would extend this, managing to finish the session 1st, 0.4s ahead of Verstappen.
Amazingly, Russell managed to take his Williams into 7th to face Q3 for the second race in a row. This pushed Alonso down to 11th, just missing out on progressing. Despite a strong start for both drivers, Gasly and Ocon finished 12th and 13th respectively. Giovinazzi finished a solid session in 14th, while Stroll couldn’t improve his pace and finished a disappointing 15th.
- 11th Alonso
- 12th Gasly
- 13th Ocon
- 14th Giovinazzi
- 15th Stroll
The British crowd roared as Hamilton took the first fastest time, 0.172s ahead of Verstappen. After some dominant weekends, it was looking like a much closer affair.
Russell’s intial runs put him 7th, ahead of both Ferraris on merit. This would later become 8th as Leclerc jumped up the order late on.
Hamilton had an incredible final run, but suffered a huge slide out of the penultimate corner, completely destroying his laptime. Despite this, Verstappen was only able to get to 0.07s of Hamilton, not enough to displace him.
Bottas crossed the line 3rd just edging out a superb effort by Leclerc. Perez finished a respectable 5th, but 0.7s behind his team-mate. Norris and Riccardo lined up next, ahead of the superb Russell. Sainz and Vettel rounded out the top 10.
F1 fans are faced with the unusual concept of a race on Saturday and, while it will decide the starting positions, there are also points on offer for the top 3. So far, so good for the new-look race weekend.
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