Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2017

Hamilton on pole but under investigation at Silverstone

2017 British Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the British Grand Prix ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, but remains under investigation for impeding Romain Grosjean.

Hamilton produced a remarkable 1’26.600 to take pole ahead of the two Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, but after appearing to hold up Romain Grosjean’s Haas in Q3, the result remains provisional.


With almost perfect timing, the rain began to fall just ten minutes before the start of the opening qualifying session.

Teams were split between the Intermediate wet tyres and the Super Soft dry compound, but despite any obvious standing water the drivers on dry tyres were quick to switch over for the green-marked Intermediates.

In the initial rush to set an early lap time, Carlos Sainz spun his Toro Rosso at Copse, while Kimi Raikkonen almost lost control of his Ferrari entering the Vale.

Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest initial lap time in the Red Bull, but was suddely forced to pull off the circuit at Woodcote with a suspected turbo failure, bringing out the red flags and ending Ricciardo’s session.

The track was still firmly in Intermediate territory as the session resumed, but began to dry out as drivers continued to improve their times.

With Fernando Alonso outside of the 107% time with time ticking down, McLaren opted to gamble on Super Soft dry tyres. Alonso crossed the line just a few tenths of a second before the chequered flag flew and put in a brave lap to go fastest of all.

This left Lance Stroll out of qualifying, with Kevin Magnussen, Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson and Ricciardo also eliminated.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

PositionDriverTeamLap time
15Sergio PerezForce India1’30.416
16Lance StrollWilliams1’42.573
17Kevin MagnussenHaas1’42.577
18Pascal WehrleinSauber1’42.593
19Marcus EricssonSauber1’42.633
20Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’42.966


The Silverstone circuit was considerably drier as the second qualifying session began, with all drivers choosing to switch to dry compound tyres.

Valtteri Bottas was the only of the 15 remaining drivers to choose the Soft compound and used them to good effect to go second quickest behind team mate Hamilton in the early laps.

Despite complaining about being held up by Sergio Perez, Sebastian Vettel produced a 1’28.978 to go fastest of all, before Hamilton delivered an impressive 1’27.893 to set what would be the fastest time of the session.

As the chequered flag loomed, Jolyon Palmer put in a good time to go into the top ten, but Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean both improved at the death to frustrate the Renault driver to an 11th place start.

Stoffel Vandoorne squeezed through in tenth to only his second Q3 appearance of the season, while Daniil Kvyat, Alonso, Sainz and Felipe Massa were the unfortunate five eliminated from further participation.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

PositionDriverTeamLap time
11Jolyon PalmerRenault1’30.193
12Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1’30.355
13Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’30.600
14Carlos SainzToro Rosso1’31.368
15Felipe MassaWilliams1’31.482


The fight for pole position looked like it would be a fight between Mercedes and Ferrari. Mercedes were the first to lay down a marker, with Lewis Hamilton putting in a 1’27.231 to go quickest from team mate Valtteri Bottas.

Then it was the turn of the Ferraris, with Vettel’s first effort giving him a provisional second place, just under two tenths from Hamilton, while Kimi Raikkonen posted the fourth quickest time.

Romain Grosjean was quick to voice his frustrations at Hamilton, after he felt the Mercedes held him up at the end of one of the Haas driver’s laps. The stewards confirmed that the incident was under investigation.

All drivers took to the track in the final two minutes for the final shoot out for pole. Bottas was the first man to cross the line, but locked up slightly into Village, costing him time.

Bottas improved to second, but was soon pipped by Raikkonen’s Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton then produced a 1’26.600 to take pole position, with Vettel taking third behind his team mate.

Valtteri Bottas will line up ninth on the grid after qualifying fourth. Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg will start ahead of the two Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

Top ten in Q3

PositionDriverTeamLap time
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’26.600
2Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’27.147
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’27.356
4Valtteri BottasMercedes1’27.376
5Max VerstappenRed Bull1’28.130
6Nico HulkenbergRenault1’28.856
7Sergio PerezForce India1’28.902
8Esteban OconForce India1’29.074
9Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1’29.418
10Romain GrosjeanHaas1’29.549

2017 British Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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82 comments on “Hamilton on pole but under investigation at Silverstone”

  1. I’m not too sure about this new qualifying interview format, has it been like this all year?

    That was an astonishing lap by Hamilton, that was incredible

    1. @strontium Only started in Baku I think? But it’s great to see Jenson. They look like some old friend discussing how great driving F1 car is and for me its much better than typical “how do you feel / how you did it” questions.

    2. Since Spain.

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th July 2017, 23:47

      I just miss the “awkward” moments and the “body language” of the pole sitter sitting next to the other driver. They give them way too much space and freedom now.

      Some of the best moments of the Rosberg/Hamilton rivalry was when they were sitting at the table. I think they should do both.

  2. For Hamilton, just wow. I hope the investigation doesn’t change a thing.

    For myself and the race of tomorrow, perhaps he has to be sent 2 places back, so Kimi inherits pole and we might get an actual race.

    1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      15th July 2017, 14:07

      I bet they’ll just reprimand him and give a penalty point or two.

      1. Can’t bring yourself to use “him’s” name?

        Lewis Hamilton did NOT impede Roman Grosjean.

      2. I doubt they will do anything.
        Hamilton on his home track on pole? They’re not gonna mess with that.

    2. Found a vid for anyone who wants to see it again


      1. 50/50, I don’t think Gro was affected in the breaking zone but loss of down force through the last corner surely but then again Ham at that point was himself on a hot lap. Reprimand probably enough as it didn’t after Gro.

        1. joe pineapples
          15th July 2017, 14:22

          Yep, Hamilton was already committed to the corner before Grosjean caught him. I don’t see where he could have gone other than speed up, which he did.

      2. Hamilton began accelerating through the chicane by the time Grosjean got close enough for it to affect his approach into the corner (he still appears hit the apex at optimal speed). Sure it would have caught Grosjean out how quick he caught the Mercedes up, but watching the footage I don’t see that the Haas lost much if any time at all during that section.

        1. Watched from Vale. Hamilton was making space for a fast lap and Grosjean arrived on the scene. Very quickly, locking up. As soon as Hamilton saw him, he floored it, but was unfortunately just at the worst point on the apex. Can’t say it was intentional in the slightest.

          Be interesting if the stewards want to influence the championship or not ;-)

  3. What. A. Lap.

  4. Not a Hamilton fan but wow!! Best qualifier since Senna without a doubt.

    1. Yeah his Austrian and Monaco laps were amazing. Really something Senna would have been proud of.

    2. As we saw in Russia, Monaco and Austria. And against Rosberg.

      1. Yea, like Senna didn’t have his share of bad qualifying sessions? 😏

      2. @michal2009b what does that mean anyway? everyone gets beaten from time to time. Hamilton is just superb in qualifying, there’s no denying

        1. @fer-no65
          He’s very good, but he’s not Senna. 42-34 against Rosberg is hardly Senna’s level. Vettel is not worse than Lewis on Saturdays.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            15th July 2017, 15:04

            You clearly have no idea, begaus Senna was NEVER beaten in qualifying.

          2. Michael Brown (@)
            15th July 2017, 15:05

            You clearly have no idea, because Senna was NEVER beaten in qualifying.

          3. Todays drivers dont have a tenth of driving time in their cars like the old days with unlimited testing.

            Comparing drivers like that is impossibly.

            Lewis is the drivers most like Ayrton in the post Senna era in qualifying. Senna however was ruthless which Schumacher also was. Vettels is no where near Lewis.

          4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            16th July 2017, 0:02


            At one point or another everyone in F1 will say something about Hamilton and usually it has to be carefully worded to avoid insulting their own team or drivers or to avoid showing any weakness to Hamilton etc, etc.

            Even Rosberg has admitted that Hamilton was faster than him throughout his career and we all know he wishes it wasn’t the case. Usually the most common words you’ll hear are “fastest”, “natural talent”, “naturally gifted”.

            I think Bottas’ facial expression said it all today in the interview – that’s the expression of a driver who’s wondering what he just witnessed. We’ve seen it on Alonso’s face, Button’s face, Rosberg’s face and every driver’s face.

          5. Rosberg was a great qualifier. That’s not really a slight on Hamilton. Just look at his record vs Schumacher.

      3. Pity Paddy Lowe, who worked with both drivers, has a difference of opinion.

  5. Hulkenberg is seriously on it this weekend. Arguably the best driver in those sorts of changing conditions – remember Brazil 2012 when he was fighting with 2 of the other people who are/were arguably the best in a much worse car. And today, just so quick. P4 in Q1 (faster than both Ferrari’s and Bottas), P5 in Q2 (faster than Verstappen who is excellent in the wet) and P6 in Q3 (when the track was dryer). Brilliant stuff. Looking quick all weekend. Who knows, with a bit of luck (which he never gets in these situations, last year alone look at Monaco and Brazil when there was a chance but the teams strategy or random debris screwed him), he could get a podium.

    Also saw a very funny tweet – “Hulkenberg much faster than Palmer but in fairness Hulk’s car has been fitted with a more talented driver.”

    1. remember Brazil 2012 when he was fighting with 2 of the other people who are/were arguably the best in a much worse car.

      And he managed to hit one of them (race leader) and take him out of the race? Yes, i remember that.

      1. Ignoring that, he was fighting them in a Force India. Also, I still reckon it’s partly the backmarkers fault. As he didn’t get out of Hamilton’s way properly, so Hamilton had to go down his inside, which meant that when Hulk made the tiny mistake he did, he hit Hamilton. It was unfortunate, but you can’t deny he was excellent in that race up to that point, and still came home 5th with the damaged car.

        1. @hugh11 Actually that’s my main problem with Hulk and why I never rate him as top driver. He can’t finish the job. Maybe he have talent to go drive quickly, but I don’t see any talent on being race winner. Before you bring up his LMP win, the pressure are different (main career vs one-off) and it’s 3 drivers job.

          1. It’s not his fault if the team pit him at the wrong time and he comes out behind Rosberg (he was ahead of Perez before the pits, and they pitted him too early, then waited a few laps for Perez who then came out ahead of Rosberg and got a podium). Then at Brazil he hit a piece of debris that hadn’t been cleared up by the marshals. I can understand your point to an extent, as there have been a few occasions when he had a chance but didn’t get it because of a mistake he made (like Brazil 2012) but a lot of the time there’s nothing he can do about it. He’s probably one of the most unlucky drivers on the grid, as also last year in US and Singapore he was much quicker than Perez and got taken out before Turn 1. If he hadn’t of had such bad luck, he would’ve beaten Perez last year.

          2. @hugh11 Maybe it only (bad) luck, but the fact is many lower rated drivers already achieve more than him in shorter period. Heck even Kvyat and Stroll already got their podium. If you ask me, honestly I didn’t know what’s wrong with him, but that’s the problem. If you don’t know what’s wrong, you can’t fix it.

    2. I may change my avatar if Kubica gets a seat at Lotus.

      1. Ermmm… Renault*

      2. You might not be alone…

    3. @hugh11 I also remember his pole in Brazil in 2010 in changeable conditions, when he was a second faster than anyone else in a much slower car. I’m hoping for unforecasted rainfall before the start of the race.

      1. Yes. That was superb as well. He is a literal god in these conditions.

    4. @hugh11, mind you, it does also sound as if Renault have now gone down the route of also throwing their resources behind just one driver, as has tended to be the case with them in the past, with the news that only his car had the latest update package fitted to it.

      1. Well, you can’t really blame them, given Hulkenberg is getting all of their points.

      2. @anon That floor update can’t explain in a significant degree being nearly full second faster

  6. Vettel messed his lap up so gap will not be that big if any. Any other track Hamilton would get a penalty but no way will the stewerds dare at this race. Looks like a very competitve race tomorrow.

    Hamilton lap was awesome. Gap Merc to Ferrari does not exist that was pure Hamilton inspired at his home race. Mansell was like that here.

  7. Given that Romain improved on his next lap and stewards are generally not so punishing these days, my guess is 2 penalty points + 5 second penalty to be served on 1st pit stop (at the worst). Best case scenario – 1 penalty point + monetary fine.

    1. Given that Romain improved on his next lap

      That’s not how it works though

    2. It’s a bit early to be hitting the hard stuff and making up harsh penalties. My guess, no further action.

    3. it will be no action taken as he did not block him on purpose and did not affect his time anyway.

    4. “Given GRO improved on his next lap”… Everyone improved on their next lap so that’s a moot point.

  8. I dont understand all the applause and adulation at Lewis’s lap, much less those claiming it was “astonishing”. Truth is, no one saw it. All we have is the time – which really isn’t the same. Shame on the race director.

    1. I saw it? On the live feed, well most of it anyway

    2. @kbdavies It’s logical to assume given the huge margin that the time was astonishing. However I agree 100% that the director messed up. It was bound to be THE LAP of the session and he somwhow missed it.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        15th July 2017, 14:48

        I agree – it’s obvious that there’s something wrong there. The commentators were talking about Hamilton but the director focused on Bottas.

        The director has a great case going for him:

        Hamilton was only going for pole #67
        He was just going to match Jim Clark for pole #5 in the UK
        He smashed the opposition as he’s done this year
        He was the only car in the 1:26 by a huge margin.
        Hamilton had purple in all sectors by a huge margin so the director knew after Sector 1 that Hamilton had pole

        What an awesome lap! Thank you for letting us miss it!

        But hey look at the bright side – they picked a great race director! Can you imagine his/her dislike of Hamilton?:-)

        Hopefully tomorrow during the Wimbledon Final this won’t happen and I might get to watch Federer at least make 1 shot during the whole match as he fights for his 19th Slam :-)

        1. joe pineapples
          15th July 2017, 14:58

          About time really that they provided multi (selectable) camera feeds for the likes of Sky to justify their extortionate prices. Unless they do?.

          1. They do offer various Driver can feeds :)

  9. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    15th July 2017, 14:18

    Until now, Bottas was the only driver on the grid to have always qualified in the top 3 this year. That has now changed. I’d say the target will be the podium for him.

  10. Given the seeming reluctance of the stewards to ‘interfere’ with the title battle, I’d say short of HAM or VET reversing down the racing line, the stewards won’t penalise either for blocking, especially when it was as marginal as that.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      15th July 2017, 15:08

      I love it

      “We don’t want to interfere with the title battle so the championship contenders get held to a different standard than other drivers.”

      And people defend this.

  11. I completely missed HAM’s alleged interference (if it was actually shown). How bad was it?

    1. not that bad at all really, Grosjean is over reacting again thats all

      1. I’d say it was actually pretty bad.

        If you see how long Hamilton lingered at the corner, you’ll see Grosjean’s gripe.

        1. Maybe he distracted Grosjean and put him off a bit, not on purpose though and Grosjean had to brake for the corner anyway.

          Hamilton put his foot down when he saw Grosjean in his mirrors, just in time it appears to ensure that Grosjean did not have to back off.

          At best I would say that this is an unfortunate incident but ultimately one that was not premeditated or born from negligence, it was not dangerous and did not cost Grosjean much (if any) time.

          So, regrettable for Hamilton, irritating for Grosjean but not worthy of a penalty, maybe ¨please try not to do that again and be more careful next time Hamilton¨ but not a penalty.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        15th July 2017, 14:57

        Tough one to call – it’s just bad timing for Grosjean and for Lewis. Yes Grosjean was impeded but at the same time Lewis is setting up for his own lap. Sure he can abort the lap but I’m not sure where he could have gone on the corners unless he went straight off or stopped the car.

        Grosjean cost Lewis a run last week too through no fault of his own either but Lewis didn’t scream at Grosjean or Haas that they might have cost me the championship. Things like that happen when you share the track and there are a lot of corners.

        One thing’s for sure – Lewis wasn’t trying to impede Grosjean…

  12. If you think that the “owners’ of Silverstone are responsible for handing out penalties I suggest you go away and learn something about the structure of F1.

  13. That last Q1 run from Alonso alone is making him my DOTW, unless some amazing shenanigans happened tomorrow of course. The lap itself is nothing special, but all the circumstances makes it very satisfying to watch.

    1. @sonicslv – Definitely a highlight moment of qualifying! And, not a lot of thanks to his pit crew with a somewhat less than urgent pit stop. He had to drive like hell to get all the way back around with maybe 1 or 2 tenths to spare.

      Really enjoying Alonso in 2017 making the most of any and every opportunity possible even though there is no chance of winning poles or races. Salud!

  14. https://streamable.com/anz6j

    100% guilty. Charlie will work his magic ?

    1. Thanks.
      Someone at Mercedes should’ve made sure this would never happen.
      I mean, there’s litterally no point for HAM to block GRO.

  15. Great pole lap from Lewis. He did actually destroy GRO’s best lap.

    This could cost him a reprimand, didn’t he already have a lot of them from last year? Or do they start over every season?

  16. joe pineapples
    15th July 2017, 14:42


    His British GP pole position stands”

    1. joe pineapples
      15th July 2017, 14:43

      (taken from Sky website)

    2. Meh. It probably warranted something like a driver point or two.

  17. Suppose Rules are rules and whats good for the goose is good for…. but completely un intensional and what would the “Hammer” have to gained from impeding a no feature like Grosjean anyway? Best scenario for Grojean would’ve been 9th which by his standards is a miricle……. but again it is not about the driver, its about the rules. Heheh perhaps he though it was Vettel and though a ‘Brkae test” was in order hehee

  18. Down there road a bit there is an old very old Thai woman that tells fortunes, me I’m a pragmatist but I thought I’d muddy my shoes, skip over the creatures of the dark, and for a small sum discover the outcome of tomorrows race. I showed her two English characters, f and 1. She held my hands, sat for a bit and then walked out into the rain. When she returned (I can speak Thai) she said, The Red Wolf.

  19. …And not that it should come as a surprise, but the Williamses were absolutely terrible in those conditions and probably have to hope for some bowling action infront to do any kind of damage. Because they looked like the 9th fastest team in Qualy.

  20. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th July 2017, 15:05

    Wow, wow, wow! Hamilton is on fire! What a lap time (we unfortunately didn’t watch the lap)!

    I think the NBC commentators said it best “he smashed the opposition”. He really did and Vettel was so upset at the end…

    0.5 seconds faster than the 2nd car
    Nearly 3/4s faster than Vettel and Bottas
    1.5 seconds faster than Verstappen

    1. yes pitty we didnt get to see it

  21. Ok, but Hamilton isn’t going to win.

  22. Michael Brown (@)
    15th July 2017, 15:20

    As usual F1 posted the video of the pole with the shoulder cam and no telemetry.

  23. kdasn3xpq49ydprkil




  24. “We don’t want to interfere with the title battle so the championship contenders get held to a different standard than other drivers.”

    And these people say trash like this without laughing…


  25. Woody (@woodyproducts)
    15th July 2017, 17:47

    Where is the fun of F1 today? The gap is too big. 1,5 sec to nr 5, 3 FULL sec to nr 10. That qualymode in those (updated again?) Mercs en Fers is ridiculous. HAM drives with two fingers in the nose to pole. It is the other way around: it’s a shame if he drives no pole. IMO there is not much reason to be proud at 66 poles with such equipment and an overestimated teammate.
    The differences are too big. It’s miles ahead predictable without mechanical failures. A shame for F1 sport.

    1. The idea behind F1 is to build the best car. Then to get the best drivers to get your car to pole, then to win the race. What do you think F1 or any race is about? FYI in every race ‘somebody’ wins. Deal with it. Or watch egg and spoon or sack races. The best don’t win there so you’ll be happy. Hamilton is a good driver, always has been even racing remote controlled cars. He approached Ron Dennis and asked for a seat at Mclaren. He delivered in the junior series so was given a seat. He used his talent to win. Then he moved to Merc where guess what? He is winning again. Boo-Hoo, what a shame he is THAT good!!

  26. Bloody quick!

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    Just my opinion, it would bring your posts a little bit more interesting.

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