Hamilton on pole for British Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Rosberg second fastest in qualifying.

Afp June 29, 2013
Hamilton topped yesterday’s final round of qualifying ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg with the Red Bulls of world championship leader Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber next best. PHOTO: REUTERS


Lewis Hamilton resisted pressure from his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg and the speed of both Red Bulls to claim pole position yesterday for today’s British Grand Prix.

The 28-year-old Englishman gave his home fans good reason to cheer – as they gave him a standing ovation – with a fastest lap of one minute and 29.607 seconds. This was four-tenths of a second quicker than his German partner who wound up second on the grid as Mercedes locked out the front row.

It was Hamilton’s second pole this year, after three successive second-place starts, and the 28th of his career. It was also the first pole by a British driver at Silverstone since Hamilton last succeeded in 2007.

Defending triple world champion German Sebastian Vettel was third quickest for Red Bull ahead of his retirement-bound teammate Australian Mark Webber.

Scot Paul Di Resta was fifth fastest in his Force India car, to give the British fans two drivers in the top five, ahead of Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso, pressing home his credentials for consideration as Webber’s successor at Red Bull.

German Adrian Sutil was seventh in the second Force India ahead of Frenchman Romain Grosjean and his Lotus teammate Finn Kimi Raikkonen and two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Hamilton pleased with crowd support

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Hamilton. “It feels like [his previous Silverstone pole] 2007. The crowd have been great – such a great turnout – that was a lap for them.

“I hope we can do something special in the race. It’s phenomenal because I haven’t been feeling 100% comfortable in the car.”

Meanwhile, Rosberg said, “It’s definitely a great feeling to have the fastest car and the Mercedes team did a great job. But finishing top two can only be good for us.”

Vettel could not resist referring to Mercedes’ recent ‘secret’ tyre test, suggesting it has given them some advantages.

But, he said, “We will see what happens tomorrow [today]. It is a long race. I’m honestly very happy today. I don’t know if Lewis [Hamilton] found a short cut or he just found something special here — it was a phenomenal lap.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2013.

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