F1 2020: 70th Anniversary Grand Prix – Saturday

Mercedes dominated Saturday to record a third consecutive one-two qualifying result of season. (Image credit: LAT Images)

Formula One again hit the track for a second consecutive Saturday which saw a different driver take pole in another thrilling Qualifying session. 

Hamilton entered the day on a high of finishing Friday Practice fastest but with Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas hot on his heels as the Silver Arrows again dominated FP3 and Qualifying. 

Further back, a mix of tyre choices saw various surprises throughout the field with some drivers more out of position than their teammates come end of Qualifying. 

 

FP3

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A quiet start saw Sebastian Vettel plus a few backmarkers head out for installation laps, with both Ferrari and McLaren drivers soon trading fastest laps with Charles Leclerc emerging quickest with a 1m 28.346 just 20 minutes into the session.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll however soon displaced Leclerc with a 1m 28.202 on the soft tyres, which was quickly bettered by Gasly then Bottas before Hamilton slotted into second on his first flying effort ahead of Max Verstappen and Gasly. 

Bottas and Hamilton proceeded to find improvement on their second flying laps with the Brit going top on a 1m 27.28-, which was beaten by Lando Norris who had opted for a medium tyre qualifying simulation of a 1m 27.202 to briefly go fastest.

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Norris’ time eventually would be bettered by only the Mercedes duo with Bottas going 0.418s quicker than Norris but Hamilton bettered his teammate’s time by 0.163 seconds with a session topping 1m 26.621 on the timesheet. 

Racing Point rounded out the top five with Nico Hulkenberg ahead of Stroll in fourth and fifth respectively, after Max Verstappen failed to get a clean qualifying simulation lap done during the final minutes. 

Vettel meanwhile struggled to 13th position as he continued to struggle for pace as has been the case in the past week, whilst Williams’ George Russell set the 17th fastest time and 0.224 seconds off teammate – Nicholas Latifi. 

 

Qualifying

Q1

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Romain Grosjean was first driver to hit the track ahead of Haas teammate, Kevin Magnussen, although both saw their first flying laps eclipsed by Hulkenberg with a 1m 27.279. 

Bottas would however top the session with a 1m 26.738 which was 0.080 seconds quicker than Hamilton. 

Russell managed to qualify for Q2 for the fourth consecutive session, despite getting impeded by Esteban Ocon on exit of Aintree on his first flier of his last Q1 run.

Daniil Kvyat consequently was the surprise Q1 casualty but qualified in 16th position ahead of Magnussen, Latifi, Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen as Alfa Romeo prop up the field. 

 

Q2

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Several drivers including Bottas and Hamilton opted for mediums whereas Vettel found himself retorting to softs to give himself a realistic shot at reaching Q3, although Verstappen chose to qualify on hard tyres.

After the opening runs, Bottas led Hamilton with Verstappen sat fourth behind Ricciardo, whilst the elimination zone contained; Vettel, Sainz, Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Russell. 

Russell opted for one flier on softs when everyone else pitted which ultimately proved enough for 15th position, behind Grosjean, Sainz, Vettel and Ocon who missed on Q3 to McLaren’s Lando Norris by just 0.126s. 

Ocon however will start from 14th after being given a three place grid penalty for impeding Russell towards the end of Q1.

Bottas eventually  topped the session with a 1m 25.785 ahead of Hulkenberg who leapt out of the elimination zone to second, with a stunning lap to put himself second and ahead of Hamilton by just 0.005s. 

Verstappen got through this session in ninth place and will start the race on hard tyres, whereas everyone else in the top ten start on faster tyres. 

 

Q3

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Norris was first driver to head out for his first Q3 run followed by Hamilton and Bottas, with the Brit winning out after their opening run with a 1m 25.284 and 0.116s quicker than Bottas. 

Ricciardo and Hulkenberg surprisingly found themselves sat third and fourth ahead of Verstappen after everyone completed their opening runs, with Ricciardo and Verstappen having done their times on the medium tyres. 

Mercedes however soon opted to put both Hamilton and Bottas onto the medium compound, which ultimately favoured Bottas who found more pace to snatch pole from Hamilton by 0.063s with a 1m 25.154.

Hulkenberg and Verstappen who had switched to the soft tyre for his final run also found time to leapfrog Ricciardo, who slipped to fifth ahead of Stroll in sixth. 

Gasly qualified in an excellent seventh position ahead of Leclerc, Albon and Norris who complete the top five rows for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. 

Speaking post Qualifying on his pole position, Bottas praised the “good set-up from last weekend,” although he is focused on tomorrow, saying; “Of course my main aim is to win the race and I’m starting from a good place.

“The pace is good. I’ll try to get a good start off the line like I did last week and for the mentality, just try and win it.”

Hulkenberg meanwhile was “surprised” to find himself third on the grid, saying; “It definitely hurt not having the experience last week, it’s still new with this car. I’ll try and learn fast and try hard.”

 

Results

FP3

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m 26.621
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.163
3 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.581
4 Nico Hulkenberg Racing Point + 0.635
5 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 0.642
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.707
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.834
8 Alex Albon Red Bull + 0.853
9 Esteban Ocon Renault + 0.875
10 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 1.006
11 Pierre Gasly  Alpha Tauri + 1.038
12 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri + 1.133
13 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 1.190
14 Daniel Ricciardo Renault + 1.194
15 Romain Grosjean Haas + 1..455
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 1.504
17 George Russell Williams + 1.728
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 1.847
19 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.917
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 2.142

 

Qualifying

Position Driver Team Time
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m 25.154
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.063
3 Nico Hulkenberg Racing Point + 0.928
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 1.022
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault + 1.143
6 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 1.274
7 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri + 1.380
8 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 1.460
9 Alex Albon Red Bull + 1.515
10 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.624
11 Esteban Ocon Renault 1m 27.011
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 0.067
13 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 0.072
14 Romain Grosjean Haas + 0.243
15 George Russell Williams + 0.444
16 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri 1m 27.882
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 0.354
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 0.548
19 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 0.551
20 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 0.611

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