Hamilton recovers from spin to secure record seventh British GP pole position

Lewis Hamilton recovered from a rare spin late in Q2 to notch up an incredible seventh pole position at Silverstone and a 91st of his career, as he also goes in search of a seventh British Grand Prix victory.

It wasn’t all plain sailing on this occasion for the imperious Hamilton, however, as he had to recover from a late spin in Q2 before getting back out on track to qualify for the final session and secure pole position from teammate Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen and a resurgent Charles Leclerc.

“Ultimately it’s a relatively big gap between us and third place but it doesn’t matter,” Hamilton told former McLaren teammate and Sky pundit Jenson Button afterward. “At the end of the day, Valtteri is pushing me right to the end, to the limit and he’s been doing a fantastic job all weekend. I made some changes going into qualifying and it was worse, so it was a real struggle out there.

“This track is just awesome as you know, with all the dust and you have an headwind and tailwind and crosswinds in different parts of the circuit, so it’s like juggling balls whilst you’re on a moving plate whilst going at high speed. And obviously we had that spin. Qualifying is a lot about confidence, and building, as you know, and I had that spin and was already down through the first section every lap and I don’t know how but some deep breaths and managed to compose myself. Q3 started off the right way, wasn’t perfect the first lap but still a really clean lap and the second one even better, so it never gets old, that’s for sure.”

Even before Hamilton’s late spin, it looked as if Bottas, who took pole at Silverstone last year, may again have the measure of his teammate. But it was Hamilton who managed to dial in the important laps when they matter most, as so often he does.

“It was a pretty good qualifying until Q3, really,” reflected Bottas. “I felt really comfortable with the car and with both tyre compounds, so Q3 started all right but I started to drift a bit more with the rear end than I was hoping but Lewis found more than me so ultimately he did a really good job today and deserved the pole. Disappointing but need to look into it. I think my long run performance this weekend has been really good, so I think there will be opportunities and obviously Lewis last year managed to win it form second place with a different strategy from me, so looking forward to the race.”

For Leclerc, fourth on the grid marked a welcome return to action at the front end of proceedings after a miserable start to the season for Ferrari, the Monegasque qualifying ahead of Lando Norris, Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz, as Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top ten.

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.