Silverstone Qualifying: McLaren P2 and P3, Ferrari beat Aston and Mercedes

Silverstone, McLaren, Lando Norris

The last free practice session saw the rain arrive on the Silverstone circuit, thus changing the conditions and partly the values ​​on the track. The weather was also unknown for these Qualifying sessions, with downpours, more or less important, which accompanied the F1 paddock at the start of the session. 

The first surprise, though it has become quite common recently, is the difficulty of Sergio Perez, even if not helped by the team, who is even eliminated in Q1.

Problems for Haas and Alfa Romeo that Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen on foot respectively in Q2 and Q1. Pole Position, once again, for Max Verstappen and his Red Bull, but the titles are all for McLaren with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri in P2-P3. 

Ferrari at Silverstone puts itself in P4-P5, thus starting immediately ahead of the direct rivals of Mercedes and Fernando Alonso.


The risk of rain given by the FIA ​​is 100% and this leads the teams to line up early in front of the traffic lights in the pitlane and also decide on a different choice of tyres. Ferrari, Sargeant and Haas line up in the pitlane with the Intermediates while all the others opt for a first attempt with the Softs

Alexander Albon, who remained in the pits, quickly changed his choice of compounds by switching to the Softs before taking to the track.

Clear and evident how the condition of the track is still ‘slick’ and, in fact, after a choice that turned out to be wrong, the two Haas, the two Ferraris and Sargeant go into the pits for a quick pit stop, however losing precious time with the risk of rain leaning on the track.

Error in the fast lap for Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at Stowe, only that the Englishman had to abandon the lap going into the gravel, while the Dutchman, despite everything, even with a long one, managed to do 1.33.535 putting himself anyway ( temporarily) in front of everyone in this first attempt. The track gradually improves and so the times drop quickly.

About 8 minutes from the finish, the rain began to enter the circuit in the area of ​​the last sector, which remains the most complicated (Stowe-Club).

The first to return to the pits are Alonso, Stroll, Piastri, Tsunoda, Devries, Norris Bottas and Sargeant (6 minutes from the end), completing their run and going to the pits for a pit stop and, for those who started with more empty tanks, take on some petrol.

Precisely in this phase, the FIA ​​notes an unsafe release by AlphaTauri, with Nick De Vries.McLaren

Red flag 3 minutes from the end with Kevin Magnussen, who remained stationary on the track, at the exit of the Stowe, with his car having put him down, while many drivers had rejoined the track with the second set of Soft tyres. 

At the restart, Verstappen will be the driver with the best time in 1.30.719, Alonso 11 thousandths behind him and the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz at +0.345 and +0.434, respectively. Behind them, Hamilton, Russell, Ocon, and Stroll are all separated by a tenth of each other.

Alexander Albon is classified last for a lap cancelled from the track limits – doubt .- and together with him, the other Williams, the two Alfa Romeos and Kevin Magnussen, who will surely be one of the eliminated in this Q1.

Crucial will be the conditions that the pilots will find at the moment of the green flag, with the Haas recovery operations taking more than a few minutes.

Accident in the pitlane for… Max Verstappen! The Dutchman, trying to line up with the other cars, touches the edge of the wall and breaks the front wing, getting stuck in that position. 

The world champion complains that he understeered at that moment and was unable to make a clean exit. The mechanics were forced to put the car back in the pits and proceed quickly with the wing change so as to send it back to the track in time.

Sergio Perez is clearly, the first driver to launch, followed by Alexander Albon, with both at risk – even eliminating the Dutchman at this moment – ​​having to set a time at all costs.


Sergio Perez just missed out. He is the first to set a time, and he is the first to be excluded from Q1. The track improved quickly in the only timed lap scored by everyone. Alonso saves himself by 0.019 on the Mexican. 

Excluding, together with him, Tsunoda, Zhou, Devries and, of course, MagnussenA session that also ends with a yellow flag as Valtteri Bottas, who passes in Q2, however, stopped on the track with a power problem.

Sparks on the track and ‘in words’. At Ferrari, Carlos Sainz complains that the team wants at all costs to respect the agreements to let Charles Leclerc go first, as he is the driver at risk. 

However, already in the pitlane, he moves and lets the Monegasque go. At the time of launching, however, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen arrive quickly and pass several cars and then pull away even late at the last corner, creating a bit of ‘panic’. 

However, the Englishman from Mercedes was probably ‘hunting’ for Verstappen, who, in the formation lap, had annoyed and overtaken him.

However, the manoeuvres of the Dutchman and the Englishman also pushed the other riders to overtake at the last corner, creating disappointment in Charles Leclerc who is overtaken by his teammate just before the last corner. The chaotic situation with a revolutionized Q1 at the end.


The first attempt with Soft rubber was used only for Mercedes, while all the others used a set of fresh tyres. The Mercedes, after a first run, returns to the pits, and Russell is called back to weigh in, thus losing useful time. Initially, slower times than Q1, with the riders managing to improve on the second attempt.

Fernando Alonso, Alexander Albon, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz take the top of the standings, with the second-best time, with 1.29.052 by the Spaniard from Aston Martin and the other Spaniard closes this group at +0.344.

Mercedes is back on track with the set of new Soft tyres, while Max Verstappen – without stopping – restarts for his second time trial after two consecutive slow laps. Quick pit stop for Lando Norris and a new set of Softs for him too. 

The Dutchman from RB improves 1.28.570, but Piastri – all other things being equal, beats him by 3 thousandths and temporarily takes the lead in the standings. Great tour of the Aussie.

Lewis Hamilton improves and takes the time to the top by beating the McLaren driver’s time by 22 thousandths, while Russell pays +0.237 from his teammate. Not a great time for Mercedes, which is in fact, ‘easily’ beaten by Norris’ McLaren, which lowers their references by half a second: 1.28.042

Worth noting is the use of used rubber for the second run by Sargeant, Leclerc and Albon, while the other riders can take advantage of a fresh set.

The McLaren MCL60 with the new livery for Silverstone

Final classification, which sees Max Verstappen print the fastest lap in 1.27.702, behind him a very fast McLaren with Piastri at +0.143 and Norris at +0.340

Williams surprises again with Albon only +0.365 from the best time, 2 tenths ahead of Carlos Sainz, who is in turn one tenth ahead of Charles Leclerc. Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Pierre Gasly and George Russell qualify in the Top 10.

Eliminated: Nico Hulkenberg for only +0.114 after a very good lap. Lance Stroll, once again disappointing, is out paying more than half a second from his teammate who is in the Top 10. Esteban Ocon and Logan Sargeant are also out, as well as obviously Valtteri Bottas, who did not participate.


The first attempt for pole position saw Max Verstappen set the best time, also exploiting the advantage of being the only driver on the track with new tyres. 

1.27.084 was the reference set by the Dutchman who will try to improve on his second outing. Behind them a very compact group of cars, led by Lewis Hamilton who takes +0.633 from Max Verstappen.

From the Mercedes driver, to the other Mercedes driver, George Russell momentarily ninth, are in half a second. Last Lando Norris author of an unclean lap.

Behind the multiple world champion, about 40 thousandths, there is still a surprising Oscar Piastri who is giving everything with the updated McLaren MCL60. 

Charles Leclerc is only 4 thousandths behind him. Behind the Monegasque, his teammate, Carlos Sainz. Fernando Alonso, Albon and Gasly before Russell and Norris, awaiting the second attempt, the decisive one.

POLE POSITION for Max Verstappen who had to do his best on the last lap and, with the last ‘record’ sector, he clocked 1.26.720. 

Behind him, both McLarens on the ‘podium’. Lando Norris at +0.241 and Oscar Piastri at +0.372 confirming the progress of the MCL60, but also how the Woking car is equipped with a lot of downforce and on a track that enhances these qualities, with a predominance of fast corners, they have done their best Qualifying season.

Fourth and Fifth the two Ferraris, with Charles Leclerc beating Carlos Sainz by 12 thousandths , with the last sector however not ideal by the Monegasque who could have competed for the Top 3 with the two McLarens. 

A matter of thousandths, 7, those that put George Russell behind the Spaniard from Ferrari and 56 instead that put him ahead of Lewis Hamilton . Alexander Albon remains further back, in eighth position, 8 tenths from Verstappen’s time, but still manages to beat Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly , who complete tomorrow’s Top 10.

Silverstone, McLaren

Author: Paolo D’Alessandro

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang