That handed P1 to Rosberg with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen in P2 ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. Hamilton was left with a single run in which to stake his claim to top spot and the defending champion delivered in spectacular style, bettering his first run time by five hundredths of a second. Rosberg failed to improve and thus Hamilton his fourth career British Grand Prix pole. Behind the Mercedes duo, Verstappen held P3. The Dutch driver failed to improve on his first-run time but Ricciardo too could find no more pace and the teenager out-qualified his more experienced team-mate for the first time since joining Red Bull ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. Today’s result is also Verstappen’s best qualifying finish to date.
Kimi Raikkonen claimed the front slot of row three with a time 0.263 behind Ricciardo. The Finn survived a Q2 scare in which several errant laps saw him in P15 in the final moment of the middle session. Raikkonen found a clean lap with his final flyer, however, to make it through to Q3 in P6 and then bettered that by one place in the final session. Team-mate Sebastian Vettel took sixth place but is set to drop down the grid after requiring a replacement gearbox following an issue in FP3.
Valtteri Bottas was seventh for Williams ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso. The first session saw Jenson Button, in the second McLaren, eliminated in P17 ahead of Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, the Manors of Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein and the sole Sauber of Felipe Nasr. The Brazilian’s team-mate Marcus Ericsson did not take part in the session having been sent to hospital for checks following his heavy crash in FP3.
There was confusion ahead of Q2 with McLaren believing that Button might make it into Q2 owing to the possibility of Magnussen’s final time being deleted. But it was not the case and Button’s scramble to be ready for the session, having left the garage after Q1, was in vain. Raikkonen’s was not the only driver to make a good escape in Q2. Carlos Sainz too put in a superb final flyer to rise from the lower reaches of the order to claim P8 and a Q3 berth. Behind tenth-placed Alonso, eliminated in Q2 were Force India’s Sergio Perez, Williams’ Felipe Massa, Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Renault’s Magnussen.
2016 British Grand Prix – Qualifying
P. DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:29.287 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG 1:29.606 + 0.319 3. Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:30.315 + 1.026 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:30.618 + 1.331 5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:30.881 + 1.594 6. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:31.490 + 2.203 7. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:31.557 + 2.270 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:31.920 + 2.633 9. Carlos Sainz JR. Toro Rosso 1:31.989 + 2.702 10. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:32.343 + 3.056 Q2 Fastest time: Lewis Hamilton 1:29.243 11. Sergio Perez Force India 1:31.875 + 2.632 12. Felipe Massa Williams 1:32.002 + 2.759 13. Romain Grosjean Haas 1:32.050 + 2.807 14. Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:32.241 + 2.998 15. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:32.306 + 3.063 16. Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:37.060 + 7.817 Q1 Fastest time: Nico Rosberg 1:30.724 17. Jenson Button McLaren 1:32.788 + 2.064 18. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:32.905 + 2.181 19. Rio Haryanto Manor 1:33.098 + 2.374 20. Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:33.151 + 2.427 21. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:33.544 + 2.820 22. Marcus Ericsson Sauber NOT PARTICIPATING 107% time: 1:37.075