Lewis Hamilton recovers from British Grand Prix qualifying spin to set Silverstone record

Lewis Hamilton recovers from British Grand Prix qualifying spin to set Silverstone record

Lewis Hamilton suffered a spin in the second session of British Grand Prix qualifying, forcing a red flag as the stewards scrambled to clear the debris caused by his trip on to the gravel at Luffield – but then went on to set a stunning new record lap to seal pole position for Sunday’s race.

The Brit is chasing a record-extending seventh success at his home race in Silverstone and will sit on pole for the fifth time in the last six years, only missing out to Valtteri Bottas in 2019.

But during Q2, Hamilton lost control and went on to the gravel at Turn 7, though he was able to rescue his car and return to the pits.

As he did so, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas set a new fastest lap, the Finn flying round at 1:25.015.

Hamilton’s first lap upon returning to track saw him second in the standings, three tenths behind Bottas, where he ended Q2.

Ex-F1 driver Jolyon Palmer told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Hamilton’s spin was similar to [Williams driver Nicholas] Latifi’s spin in Q1.

“Just on the throttle, steering lock on, medium tyres and a little less grip and just backing it through the gravel.

“Hamilton wants to start the race on those tyres but that wont help his cause one bit.”

In Q3, however, Hamilton set another new track record with a stunning 1:24.616 lap – only to then better that on his final flying lap with a blstering 1:24.303.

That was a third of a second quicker than Bottas, who finished second, and saw Hamilton once again clinch the best spot on the grid for Sunday.

The Silver Arrows once more locked out the front row with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari fourth.

It was his 91st pole position – putting him an incredible 23 ahead of the great Michael Schumacher.

Heading into the British Grand Prix, the first of a double header at Silverstone, former Red Bull racer Mark Webber declared that he would have Hamilton over Schumacher.

The 35-year-old is looking to match the Ferrari legend on a record seven championships this season, having dominated the sport in recent years.

“I would take Lewis over Michael because of his completeness,” Webber told the Press Association.

“I am not saying Michael wasn’t anything because we are comparing two juggernauts. Michael put our sport into a whole new stratosphere in terms of fitness and approach. He was an extraordinary pioneer.

“But some of Michael’s numbers are challenged in terms of how he went about certain things.

“So, Lewis, in terms of how clinical he is, how he has done some pretty special stuff in weaker cars, I would have him by a whisker.

“When he can smell victories and the real stuff, which is winning championships, he is absolutely frightening.

“Lewis has had a long career, and the sign again of a great champion is longevity.

“When Lewis is eight out of 10, he is special, but when he is 10 out of 10, going for it and is hungry, he is pretty much unbeatable.”

Published at Sat, 01 Aug 2020 13:43:00 +0000