Lewis Hamilton takes Silverstone pole
Mercedes driver four tenths of a second quicker than team-mate Nico Rosberg
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took pole for the 2013 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Lewis Hamilton had the home flags flying around Silverstone as he grabbed pole position for Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Hamilton produced a storming performance around the Northamptonshire track by going quickest in all three sectors and finishing a stunning four tenths of a second faster than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Following a wet, grey practice day on Friday, Hamilton emerged from his car bemoaning its lack of balance and claiming he could not recall the last time he was so uncomfortable.
Overnight, however, it appears the car has been transformed as the 28-year-old conjured the 29th pole of his Formula One career, and second with his new team this season.
Despite Mercedes’ dominance on a Saturday, come Sunday it has been a different story as the team have predominantly struggled for race pace and slipped down the field.
It is understood the Brackley-based marque have made considerable strides in recent weeks to correct the car’s faults when it comes to a race, and the essence of that will now be seen tomorrow.
It was also a stunning performance from Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo as he will start sixth ahead of Adrian Sutil in his Force India.
As for McLaren’s Jenson Button, his hopes of ending his podium hoodoo here show no sign of coming to fruition tomorrow as the 33-year-old will start 11th.
Button, yet to finish in the top three in 13 attempts at this track, only just missed out on a place in the top 10 by 0.057secs behind Raikkonen.
Despite that, Button said: “I’m higher than we expected to be. It’s been very difficult this weekend, but we changed a few things for qualifying and it was much better, although still not quick. Even if we’d qualified in the top 10 we would have been 10th in Q3 anyway. I don’t think we would have gone out.
“We should be positive we’ve improved the car, and you never know what might happen tomorrow.”
Team-mate Sergio Perez, who suffered a punctured tyre in the final hour-long practice session that scuppered his running, will start 14th.