F1: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton takes Pole at home British GP at Silverstone
Silverstone, July 4, 2015 – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has taken his eighth pole position of the season, going fastest in British Grand Prix qualifying at Silverstone.
Hamilton used the medium tyre to set his fastest lap of 1m32.248s in Q3, comfortably eclipsing last year’s pole time (set in mixed conditions) and laying the foundations for one of the quickest-ever British grands prix on the current circuit tomorrow. Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg – who qualified second on the grid – got through Q1 using the hard tyres only, which have also been nominated for Silverstone. By using just one set of new medium tyres in Q2, the Mercedes drivers saved a new set of mediums for the race.
Lewis Hamilton -It’s a special day and an extra special feeling getting pole on my home turf in front of all the fantastic fans that have come out here to Silverstone. They’ve been absolutely incredible, so a big thank you to everyone for the support. It hasn’t been a completely smooth weekend – I’d not quite managed to find the right balance throughout the practice sessions. Although it’s my favourite part of the track, it’s been tough through the middle sector in particular with the wind. But luckily it all came together in qualifying. That was such a buzz – having the car working underneath me and seeing all the flags waving out of the corner of my eye as I came round the lap. I’ve got my brother here too and I’ve seen so many messages on banners in the crowd and on social media building up to today. I can’t thank everyone enough for their support. I’m very, very happy with that one!
Track temperatures remained around 38 degrees centigrade during qualifying: well suited to the medium tyre, which is a low working range compound that works most effectively in temperate and warm conditions. If the weather is hot, then the hard tyre comes into its own. This will make track temperature one of the most influential parameters on race strategy tomorrow.
Nico Rosberg-My first run in Q3 was quick and I thought I had nailed it but, when I had a look on my dash, Lewis was just one tenth quicker which was very annoying! In the second run I was set to improve – but something felt wrong with my left front tyre. I had no grip, so we need to look into that later. I’ve had a tricky weekend so far with a few car problems – but it’s all still possible tomorrow as we have seen in the last race. Another big thanks to the boys in the garage. They had a lot of work to do again in the morning session to get my car back out after the issue. Also, it’s really great to race here in front of such massive crowds. The people clearly love racing and even cheer on the non-British drivers which is very cool to see, so a big hand for them too.
Felipe Massa: It was a fantastic day for us at our home Grand Prix and it’s great to have us P3 and P4. I enjoyed fighting closely with Valtteri and exchanging lap times. The wind into Copse was really strong and that affected the balance of the car, so I made sure to be cautious and not to waste a lap by running wide. It’s very important for us to show that we have the pace to get both cars ahead of everyone except from Mercedes. Tomorrow won’t be easy but we are ready for it and it will be an exciting race.
In order to gather as much information as possible about the behaviour of each compound in different conditions, the teams concentrated on the hard tyre during FP3 this morning, which featured cooler temperatures than yesterday following heavy overnight rain.
The wear and degradation rates of both compounds in tomorrow’s conditions will determine whether or not the British Grand Prix will be a one or a two-stop race, but uncertain weather is again expected over the next 24 hours. Gusting winds – a frequent feature of Silverstone – also affected aerodynamic and therefore tyre performance today.
Track limit penalties were a dominant feature of qualifying with a number of drivers having their times eliminated for running wide at Copse corner in particular. This zero tolerance approach put many competitors under pressure to deliver their best lap times with little time left remaining on the clock.
Hamilton was quickest in the final free practice session this morning as well, using the medium tyre at the end of the session.