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Formula 1

F1 British GP starting grid as Perez set for pitlane start

3 min read

Mercedes Formula 1 drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton will start the 2024 British Grand Prix from the front row of the grid, after beating McLaren and Red Bull to qualify 1-2 at Silverstone.

McLaren and Red Bull are generally considered to have the fastest cars in F1 in 2024, but this is the second time in the past four races that Russell has claimed a surprise pole position for Mercedes, underlining improvements the team has made to its aerodynamic platform as the 2024 season has progressed.

Team-mate Hamilton was also in the mix for pole and briefly held top spot before Russell’s final lap of the session, where Russell displayed slightly more confidence and commitment into the high-speed corners than Hamilton, dislodging the seven-time world champion from the head of the timesheet by 0.171 seconds.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was fastest in Q2 and also held provisional pole position in Q3 for a spell, but his final flying lap was spoiled by a big slide at Turn 3 which sent his rear tyres into a spiral of overheating and so he aborted to the pitlane without completing that attempt.

Runaway world championship leader Max Verstappen will start the race fourth, after qualifying just under four tenths away from Russell’s pole position time. 

Verstappen’s Red Bull was hindered by floor damage picked up when Verstappen went off at Copse corner in Q1 and ran through the gravel. Red Bull patched up the floor during every subsequent break in qualifying, but Verstappen admitted he was still “going slower in some corners than in practice”.

It’s conceivable without that incident that he would have qualified on pole by some margin over the Mercedes drivers.

Oscar Piastri’s McLaren was only 0.034s slower than Verstappen’s Red Bull in Q3, Piastri also failing to improve on his final qualifying run after starting his lap too close to the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, which improved Piastri’s straightline speed but hurt his McLaren’s performance in the corners.

Nico Hulkenberg joins Piastri in starting from the third row of the grid after producing an outstanding performance in the heavily upgraded Haas.

Sainz’s Ferrari, running an outdated aero specification after Ferrari encountered bouncing problems with its latest package at Silverstone, Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin, Alex Albon’s Williams, and the second Aston of Fernando Alonso complete the top 10 on the grid.

Stroll was investigated for running a red light at the pit exit in Q1 but the stewards showed leniency and awarded Stroll only a reprimand after he explained that he didn’t have time to react safely to the light coming on and so thought it more sensible to drive a slow lap back to the pits rather than risk crashing in the pitlane. 

Alonso was also investigated, for his team working on his car in the fast lane of the pitlane in Q1, but again the stewards showed leniency given it was a minor infraction of the rules, a common practice in the pits during red flag periods, and the fact no advantage was gained or safety compromised.

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, Logan Sargeant’s Williams, Yuki Tsunoda’s RB - running a mix of old and new parts after difficulties making that car’s latest aero package work - Zhou Guanyu’s Sauber and the second patchwork RB of Daniel Ricciardo complete the top 15 on the grid.

Valtteri Bottas’s Sauber, the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen - reverted to an older aero specification after the latest package was damaged during Friday practice - and the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are next up.

Gasly didn't make a serious attempt to qualify, as he was already carrying a massive grid penalty awarded for busting his permitted allocation of new engine components for the season.

But he will actually move up relative to where he qualified with Red Bull's Sergio Perez starting from the pitlane, after Red Bull swapped out his internal combustion engine, control electronics, energy store and exhaust system under parc ferme.

Like Verstappen, Perez had gone off at Copse in Q1 while using slicks on a slippery track, but unlike Verstappen he couldn’t keep his Red Bull from spinning into the gravel and becoming stuck.


1. George Russell (Mercedes)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
5. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
6. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
7. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
8. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
9. Alex Albon (Williams)
10. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
11. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
12. Logan Sargeant (Williams)
13. Yuki Tsunoda (RB)
14. Zhou Guanyu (Sauber)
15. Daniel Ricciardo (RB)
16. Valtteri Bottas (Sauber)
17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
18. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
19. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)
PL. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

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