Tuesday, July 23, 2024

George Russell takes British GP pole from Lewis Hamilton & Norris

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George Russell led a home one-two-three in British Grand Prix qualifying from Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Russell beat Hamilton to pole position by 0.171 seconds with Norris, second to Russell after the first laps in the final session, 0.211secs off the pace after failing to complete his second lap.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fourth fastest, struggling with a car damaged by a run through the Copse gravel trap in the wet first session.

It is the first time three British drivers have been at the front of the grid at their home grand prix since 1962, when Jim Clark was on pole from John Surtees and Innes Ireland.

The session started in the rain, and more or less dried progressively throughout despite light rain returning at one point, but Russell, Hamilton and Norris have looked quick all weekend.

The result, despite the mixed conditions and unusually cold conditions of just 14C, is also further confirmation of a Mercedes revival in recent races following a series of upgrades to their car.

Russell, winner in Austria last weekend after Norris and Verstappen collided while fighting for the lead, said: “What a feeling. At the start of this year, I don’t think we could even have dreamt of being on pole there. On pole with Lewis and Lando top three, it’s just mega.”

Hamilton said: “Three Brits in the top three is incredible. George did such a great job. We didn’t expect to be on the front row this weekend. This is huge for our team.

“The car felt great, it was just about getting a tyre temperatures in the right place.

“There was still time left on the table, which George managed to find, but with the conditions we can work together to keep Lando behind.”

Norris admitted he had made a mistake which forced him to abort his final lap – he was in the pits when Russell and Hamilton secured the front row.

Norris said: “I’m happy with P3. Three Brits lock out the top three, so pretty cool here. Good laps by George and Lewis both. They did an excellent job.

“A little mistake on my part at the end but P3 is still good.”

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