09 Aug 2020

70TH ANNIVERSARY GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING UPDATE

Qualifying for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone threw up a very interesting starting grid for today’s race and a blinding lap from the returning Nico Hulkenberg.

Mercedes continued to dominate by bagging another one-two, but this time it was Valtteri Bottas who unexpectedly came out on top. With only 0.063 seconds between him and his teammate, it was a far from comfortable pole but one that Bottas will relish at the start after the unfortunate end to his race last weekend.

Impressive as Bottas’ pole was, the lap everyone was talking about was that of Nico Hulkenberg who qualified in third-place, beating Max Verstappen to the title of best of the rest behind the Silver Arrows.

After failing to even start last Sunday, nobody expected this performance and it is a testament both to the Racing Point car’s potential, as well as how Hulkenberg’s exclusion from this season’s driver roster was an opportunity lost one of the teams to pick up a proven racer with a LeMans win under his belt. The German proved his value by out qualifying his teammate Lance Stroll by three places who also put in a good qualifying shift.

Further down the grid, any amount of experience is failing to provide pace for Sebastian Vettel who failed to make Q3 for a second time already this season. Although the car is clearly not the most competitive, his teammate Charles Leclerc is squeezing much more out of the Ferrari.

After his disappointing 12th place, Vettel admitted he has ‘run out of answers.’ If these poor runs continue, fans and potential employers will start to question whether he has lost the edge which brought him 4 back to back world titles.

On a more positive note we saw another solid performance from George Russell who made it into Q2 for the fourth consecutive race weekend despite being blocked at one stage by what he described as ‘properly dangerous driving’ by Esteban Ocon. The British driver has shown a lot of potential this year, continuing to surprise in a slowly improving Williams car, and painting a promising picture for the future of both the driver and the team.

Pierre Gasly is also showing great form in the AlphaTauri, clocking in a 7th place, just over a second slower than the dominant Mercedes’. He was also over a second faster than teammate Daniil Kvyat who saw his best time taken away due to him running wide at Stowe and exceeding track limits. This resulted in the Russian narrowly missing out on Q2.

In the race today it is again likely to be a two-man race for pole position unless either of the Mercedes drivers suffer technical issues. Behind them its anticipated that it could be a lively race with the rest of the points positions up for grabs. It will be interesting to see if Hulkenberg can manage to hold on for a podium position or if Verstappen can make it a pair of back to back podium finishes. It is shaping up to be a very fitting race for the 70th anniversary Grand Prix.

JDC is looking forward to welcoming everyone back to Formula 1 in 2021 for what is expected to be a very exciting and closely run season. If you’d like to experience any of the races on the 2021 calendar, then take a look at our Paddock Club™ hospitality packages or contact JDC Promotions and let us build a bespoke package for you and your guests.

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ccooper

Formula 1 Correspondent