Hamilton was expected to bounce back after having endured a fiasco at Austria.
And it seems it’s the Briton who’s going to dominate the proceedings once again at the legendary Silverstone unless the Ferrari’s barge through his defences on race-day.
Expected to be the racing weekend that would see a gigantic fightback by Lewis and his Mercedes, the four-time world champion has already fired the opening salvo.
77th Career Pole
In clinching the 77th pole of his stellar career, Hamilton’s set the tone to the weekend by setting Silverstone on fire.
In doing so, Hamilton’s raised the expectations of what’s being touted to be an absorbing race come Sunday.
In setting a new record, the fastest lap-time for qualifying at Silverstone, Hamilton drove a belter at 1:25:892, clinching pole-position by the slimmest of margins right ahead of the Ferrari of German Sebastian Vettel.
Separated by the daintiest gap of 0.044 seconds to Hamilton, Vettel, who drove a fast middle and opening sector would park his Ferrari ahead of Kimi, at 1:25:936, the ‘Iceman’ following it closely, with a quick 1:25: 990.
A strong front row, looking poised to enter a nervy race, the odds highly remain in favour of Hamilton, hoping to clinch what will be a record 6th Grand Prix win, should the Silver Arrows produce another gold of a performance at Hamilton’s home race.
No other driver has won as many Grands Prix at Britain as the 2017 World Champion, who clinched his fourth back-to-back career pole at Silverstone.
This is, an incredibly the sixth for Lewis in entirety, at a track where legends like Jim Clark, Nigel Mansell and, Senna have previously soared to heights.
Bottas to start at P4
With the Ferrari’s bisecting the Mercedes drivers, Bottas had to contend with a P4.
This means we might be in for an interesting battle for 3rd, between Kimi, Valtteri and, Verstappen, just seven-tenths of a second behind Mercedes’ Finn.
If you further break this down, then both Red Bulls, including Ricciardo’s- the Australian finding complications with his DRS- will remain in the hunt to pass the Mercedes of Bottas, Daniel parking his car on sixth.
How did the rest of the grid fare?
There was a disappointment for the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg, who was going quick, expected to better the pace of other competitive runners including the Haas and Sauber but would have to start outside the top ten.
In demonstrating continued improvement, Kevin Magnussen of Haas parked his car right behind the Red Bull of Ricciardo, under a second behind the Aussie, with 1:27:344. He would be trailed by teammate Grosjean in the other Haas (seemingly improving starting Austria), followed by the Sauber of Charles Leclerc and, the Force India of Esteban Ocon, to complete the top ten.
The key to producing a fast lap time at Silverstone is to gradually build the rhythm and momentum around the 5.9-kilometre track, punctuated by 18 corners.
Home to the famous Maggots and Becketts corners, a grand outlay for overtaking manoeuvres, even as the legendary “Bridge section” has been done away with, Silverstone excites just as much as it enthrals viewers allowing for a wheel to wheel racing at the Hangar straight approaching to the iconic Stowe.
What will drivers have to be most careful with?
But at the home of the British Grand Prix, it’s all about perfect tyre-management, a shout-out specifically to the two Ferrari’s that had surprisingly endured a puncture on the softer compounds the last year on Lap 49, with just 3 laps to go.
Somehow, Ferrari’s Raikkonen would limp onto a third, with Vettel’s race already compromised by a ping-pong with Verstappen, although, that seems unlikely with Verstappen starting on the third row.
We have the prospect of seeing a really thrilling Grand Prix, that could, in the wake of skirmishes, unforeseen collisions become ultimately dramatic especially with drivers having to contend with looking after their tyres under increased downforce this season.
Here’s a statistic to watch out for
The last time as Vettel and Hamilton entered the British Grand Prix, the German held a 1 point lead over Hamilton, sitting on 177. Eventually, Hamilton would topple over the Ferrari driver to win an ace.
As Vettel and Hamilton enter the 2018 British Grand Prix, Vettel once again enjoys a lead over second-placed Hamilton sitting at the top with 146 points.
Does that give out an indication?