Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes front row lock-out for British GP

Press Association Sport 18:39 13/07/2019
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Lewis Hamilton was denied pole position for the British Grand Prix by just six thousandths of a second.

Valtteri Bottas will start from the front at Silverstone despite Hamilton’s last-gasp effort to usurp his Mercedes team-mate.

Mercedes locked out the front row for Sunday’s race with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc third ahead of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen. Pierre Gasly starts fifth with Sebastian Vettel a disappointing sixth.

Hamilton was bidding to secure his fifth consecutive pole at the Northamptonshire circuit, but the world champion made a critical error on his first run in the shootout for pole.

The Briton wobbled through Brooklands, temporarily losing control of his Mercedes, to leave him well behind Bottas ahead of the final runs.

Hamilton attempted to make amends for his error, but despite improving on his time it would prove no match for the Finn – Bottas ending Hamilton’s streak of four poles.

“It wasn’t good enough,” said Hamilton, 34, in front of a flat British crowd. “We worked hard but it got away from us.

“I had that mistake on the first lap and the second one wasn’t that great.

“Tomorrow is a long race, but we have got a great crowd here so hopefully I can do something.

“It is the best grand prix of the whole year. Without people like this to fill it up, and bring energy it would be nothing, so that is why we have got the best fans in England.”

Bottas added: “It feels good. It has been close all weekend with Lewis and it was great to get in a good lap and get pole.

“I knew that the first lap was good but it was not perfect. I should have improved in the second run. It is easy to make mistakes so I am happy to be on top.”

Leclerc ran the Mercedes drivers close, finishing one tenth shy of Bottas at an overcast and blustery Silverstone, but his Ferrari team-mate Vettel has struggled here.

The German, already 76 points behind Hamilton in the championship, was seven tenths off the pace.

British teenager Lando Norris will line up from eighth in his maiden home event following another encouraging weekend. His McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz qualified 13th, three tenths off Norris.

George Russell meanwhile, retained his immaculate record against Robert Kubica, finishing half-a-second clear of his Williams team-mate, albeit 19th of the 20 runners.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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