Hamilton grabs pole for inaugural F1 Sprint at Silverstone
Sports Desk, Jul 16 (EFE).- Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) took pole position Friday in qualifying for the first-ever F1 Sprint, a prelude to the British Grand Prix on Sunday.
More than 90,000 people were in the stands at Silverstone to see the United Kingdom’s native son prevail by 0.075 seconds in Q3 over Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull).
Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas of Finland, was third, followed by Monaco’s Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and the other half of the Red Bull duo, Mexican driver Sergio “Checo” Perez.
The McLaren team of Briton Lando Norris and Australian veteran Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Another Brit, George Russell (Williams), will start Saturday from P8 on the grid.
Rounding out the top 10 were Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and German four-time champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin).
The introduction of the Sprint is accompanied by a significant overhaul of the customary schedule for Grand Prix weekend, including a reduction in free practice sessions from three to two.
Free Practice 1 took place Friday, hours before qualifying, while FP2 will precede Saturday’s Sprint of 100km, which translates into 17 laps around the track at Silverstone.
The winner of the Sprint will earn 3 points in the driver standings, with second place good for 2 points and third for a single point. More importantly, the order of the finish in the Sprint will determine the order of the grid for Sunday’s main event.
Hamilton, in pursuit of a record eighth championship, trails Verstappen by 32 points after nine races. EFE arh/dr