Hamilton rallies to British GP pole after track limits scare

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Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s British Grand Prix from pole position after bouncing back from a track limits scare to beat Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in Q3 at Silverstone.

After posting the fastest ever lap around the current layout of Silverstone in Q2, Hamilton found yet more time on his first run in Q3 to go two-tenths of a second faster than Rosberg after their first runs.

However, with the FIA taking a zero-tolerance approach to track limits at Silverstone, Hamilton’s lap was deleted after he was found to have run wide at Turn 9, leaving him with just one lap to try and beat Rosberg.

Hamilton ventured out onto the track for his second run, knowing his final lap would be the last chance he had to beat Rosberg. Despite going slower in the second sector, the Briton found plenty of time in sector three to go three-tenths of a second faster.

Rosberg was unable to improve with his final lap, handing Hamilton a popular pole position as cheers went up in the grandstands.

Max Verstappen finished third for Red Bull, beating teammate Daniel Ricciardo for the first time this season in qualifying as the Australian ended Q3 in fourth place.

Kimi Raikkonen bounced back from an error-strewn Q2 to finish fifth overall, over half a second clear of teammate Sebastian Vettel who was left to finish P6. Vettel will drop to 11th on the grid by virtue of his grid penalty.

Valtteri Bottas qualified seventh-fastest ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr., while Fernando Alonso ended the session 10th after he too had his lap deleted for exceeding track limits.

Sergio Perez narrowly missed out on a place in Q3 thanks to Hulkenberg, finishing Q2 just behind his teammate in P11. Felipe Massa had a session to forget, qualifying 12th ahead of the Haas pair of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.

Daniil Kvyat’s difficult season continued as he finished 15th for Toro Rosso, ahead only of Renault’s Kevin Magnussen in Q2, whose sole run at the end of the session left him seven seconds off Hamilton at the top.

Jenson Button’s rotten run at Silverstone continued as he qualified 17th, unable to get out late in Q1 while his rivals improved. The Briton will line up alongside compatriot Jolyon Palmer on the grid, with the Manor duo of Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein following in 19th and 20th respectively.

Felipe Nasr was the sole Sauber driver to take part in qualifying following Marcus Ericsson’s crash in practice earlier in the day. Ericsson was taken to a hospital in Oxford for a check-up due to the severity of the crash, leaving him 22nd overall. Nasr could only finish 21st, making it an all-Sauber back row at Silverstone.

The British Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.