Record breaking day for the Silver Arrows at Silverstone! Lewis Hamilton today took his 55th career pole position – his fourth at Silverstone and sixth of the 2016 season so far. Nico Rosberg will start tomorrow’s British Grand Prix from P2, completing a fifth Silver Arrows front row lockout of the season so far. Both Lewis and Nico eclipsed the previous circuit record at this configuration of the Silverstone Circuit (1:29.607) set by Lewis in 2013. Both drivers completed a single run in Q1, the same again in Q2 and two runs apiece in Q3, using soft compound types throughout.
Lewis Hamilton: Firstly, I want to say how grateful I am for all the amazing fans that we have this weekend. Right from Thursday through to today, it’s been the biggest crowd I think I’ve ever seen here. The wave of energy they send is just mesmerising, so a big thank you to everyone out there. It wasn’t the cleanest qualifying session. We had great pace all the way through – but I ran a bit wide on my first Q3 lap and had that time taken away. I just touched the kerb and it really pulled me out there. I didn’t even feel like I was going to be running wide until the car bottomed out and I just bounced outside the line, so then there was a lot of pressure on my final lap. I was just sitting there in the garage thinking “I can’t let these guys down”. The second lap didn’t feel quite as good but I was a bit more cautious – making sure I got the lap on the board. I’m grateful that I managed it and grateful to the team too for all their hard work in giving us the performance we have this weekend. The fans give me more than enough motivation. Tomorrow will be a tough race, as always, and it’s important we do our due diligence tonight and tomorrow morning to make sure we’re on top of tyres, strategy and so on. But my long run pace yesterday was strong and I feel like I’ve got the car in a good place underneath me in terms of balance for the race. I can’t wait to see everyone out there again tomorrow!
Nico Rosberg: The team has given us an incredible car. It really was a pleasure to drive out there today – especially through these spectacular high-speed corners where it’s just awesome. It’s like the car is on rails, which is just what you want as a driver, so a big thank you to everyone for that. It wasn’t my day out there today – but congratulations to Lewis, who did an awesome job. Tomorrow is the day and it’s all to play for and it will be a great battle between Lewis and me. There are some chances at the start and it will be interesting how the tyre degradation will influence the strategy. Recently I’ve had good starts, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll definitely still be pushing for the win.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: That was a nerve-wracking qualifying session that went down to the last meters of the final lap. After Lewis had his first time deleted in Q3, the pressure was on. But he was super calm, went out on track and nailed it. It’s such a fine balance between taking pole and staying within those track limits – and when he performs under that pressure, you see why he is a triple World Champion. As for Nico, he did a great job too. The lost track time yesterday certainly wasn’t an advantage for him but he took a strong P2. This track needs all-round performance from the chassis and engine and today’s session shows we have both. Our long runs were good yesterday, so we will do our homework tonight and make sure to take our opportunities in the race tomorrow.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1