Valtteri Bottas (5/4 Race Winner) will start on pole for Sunday’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after pipping Mercedes’ team-mate Lewis Hamilton (4/5 fav) during qualifying.
Mercedes have been in dominant form at Silverstone this week, topping the timesheets in all three practice sessions and they continued in the same manner during qualifying on Saturday.
It looked like reigning world champion Hamilton was going to secure pole, as he led for much of qualifying, but Bottas pipped his team-mate with his final lap of Q3, posting a time of 1:25.154 to finish just six hundredths of a second ahead of the Brit.
Bottas, who signed a new contract with Mercedes earlier this week, is now hoping to hammer home his advantage during Sunday’s race.
“It feels good,” Bottas told reporters after sealing the 13th pole of his career.
“I just love qualifying and especially when it goes well it’s a good feeling. Nice to get everything out of myself and out of the car.
“Set-up wise we made good steps from last weekend – that’s why I think the qualifying performance was better than last weekend – so realy pleased with that.”
The most surprising performance of the day came from Racing Point’s Nico Hulkenberg (50/1 Race Winner), who finished best of the rest behind the two Mercedes’, despite only taking his seat on the grid due to the continued absence of Sergio Perez, who has missed the last two GPs after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (10/1) will join Hulkenberg on the second row, while the rest of the top-10 is made up of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, the second Racing Point of Lance Stroll, Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon of Red Bull and McLaren’s Lando Norris.
However, it appears Mercedes will take some stopping on Sunday and one more who is unlikely to challenge the front of the grid is the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, whose early season struggles look set to continue, as he failed to make Q3 and will start 12th on the grid as a result.