SILVERSTONE QUALIFYING – HOW WAS IT FOR YOU?
So far there can be no regrets for Silverstone featuring in the revised Formula one season. Qualifying today showcased broken records despite rather predictable placements on the grid for tomorrow.
The big news of today was Lewis Hamiltons’ record breaking lap, setting the fastest time in history around Silverstone at with a 1:24.303 in qualifying. This along with Valtteri Bottas completing the one-two, continues to solidify the domination that Mercedes have enjoyed so far this season.
Further down on the grid, Lance Stroll put in a great drive to place 6th, maintaining Racing Points’ impressive run this season. This placing is also a testament to his development as a driver over the past few years. Stroll massively outperformed Formula 1 veteran Niko Hulkenberg, who replaced Sergio Pérez due to the Racing Point driver being ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19 on Thursday finishing in a lackluster 13th place.
Some attention must be paid again to the continued poor performances of Ferrari and Vettel in particular. Leclerc’s second place in Austria remains a flash in the pan for the Scuderia although a P4 finish for him today is encouraging, the car itself is far from a level that would allow the drivers to compete with Mercedes for the top spots.
Sebastian Vettel’s’ season is still screaming out for improvement and with Leclerc out-qualifying him again today, it is becoming harder with every weekend to see why any team at the caliber of say a Racing Point should sign him for next year.
As Vettel has already hinted in interviews that a year away from the sport is not off the table, a tenth place finish today may be another hint that the four-time World Champion has taken his foot off the gas in anticipation of some time off.
Red Bull also continues to struggle to match up to the pace of the Silver Arrows. Although the brilliance of Max Verstappen brought him a podium start, his teammate resides down in 12th not even making it into P3.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has deemed the barrage of criticism headed Albon’s way to be ‘unwarranted and unfair.’ Of course, he cannot be blamed for the coming together with Hamilton a few weeks ago, but being consistently out-qualified by his teammate does not look good for him or the team’s decision to field him instead of Pierre Gasly.
All in all, the action provided today is the perfect setup for an exciting race tomorrow. Mercedes are still expected to dominate but the rest of the field is anyone’s bet, we are headed in the direction of another classic race at Silverstone before the 70th anniversary next weekend.
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