Bottas pips Hamilton for British GP pole

Valtteri Bottas won a battle of Mercedes teammates to deny Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton a fifth successive British Grand Prix pole position on Saturday.
Bottas pips Hamilton for British GP pole

London

The Finn was a mere 0.006 of a second quicker than the five-time world champion as the two Silver Arrows once again locked out the front row of the grid at Silverstone. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will share the second row with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. The latter won the previous race in Austria, where the two 21-year-olds clashed on track while fighting for victory in the closing laps.

The pole, in a time of one minute and 25.093 seconds, was Bottas’ fourth in 10 races this season -- more than any other driver. “Ultimately not good enough,” said Hamilton, who was fastest in the first phase of qualifying. “We worked really hard throughout the session, but it just got a little bit away from us. I sacrificed a lap in Q2 (the second phase), which would have helped get a reading of how the car was. And then just at the end, I had that mistake on the first lap. The second one wasn’t that great. Fair play to Valtteri, he did the job.”

Bottas is 31 points adrift of Hamilton in the championship and needs to close the gap, fully aware that his teammate has a habit of hitting full throttle once the August break is out of the way. “I knew the first lap was good but it wasn’t perfect. Honestly, I should’ve improved in the second run and I’m glad it was enough - it’s not easy to get a quick lap together and it’s very easy to make mistakes,” said the delighted Finn.

Hamilton remains well-placed, however, to take a record sixth home win and 80th of his career. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, last year’s race winner, was sixth, behind Red Bull’s French driver Pierre Gasly on the third row. Australian Daniel Ricciardo lines up seventh for Renault, alongside McLaren’s Lando Norris .

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