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.