Formula 1

George Russell pips Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris to British Grand Prix pole

George Russell pips Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris to British Grand Prix pole

George Russell delivered for his home crowd by landing a brilliant pole position for the British Grand Prix.

The Englishman held his nerve in a wet-dry qualifying session at Silverstone to see off team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.171 seconds as Mercedes locked out the front row.

McLaren’s Lando Norris completed a British one-two-three ahead of an anticipated 160,000 sell-out crowd for Sunday’s race.

Championship leader Max Verstappen, who ran through the gravel in Q1, sustaining possible damage to the floor of his Red Bull, could manage only fourth.

The build-up to Formula One’s third round in as many weeks has been dominated by Norris’ late collision with Verstappen as they duelled for the lead in Austria six days ago.

Russell took advantage of the coming together to claim just his second career win and the 26-year-old was back on top at Silverstone to land pole for his home race.

Russell held a six-thousandths advantage over Norris heading into the final runs only to see Hamilton charge to the top of the order.

But Russell denied the seven-time world champion his first pole since the Hungarian Grand Prix last year – 350 days ago – to put his machine on pole. Norris failed to improve his with last lap, finishing 0.211 sec back.

Russell won in Austria last week (David Davies/PA)

“What a feeling,” said Russell. “At the start of this year we couldn’t have even dreamt of being on pole.

“The car at the moment is feeling so good, it really came alive, and what a joy to ride around this circuit.

“The crowd give us so much energy, and I don’t think Silverstone could’ve dreamt of three Brits in the top three.”

Hamilton said: “We definitely didn’t expect to be on the front row this weekend but this is huge for us as a team. The car felt fantastic out there.”

Norris, 81 points behind Verstappen in the championship, added: “It’s meant to rain again tomorrow, so I’m excited. We’re quick and I can bring the fight to George tomorrow.”

Max Verstappen struggled at Silverstone (David Davies/PA)

Red Bull have dominated the sport for the past two-and-a-half years but their supremacy appears as though it is finally coming to an end.

Verstappen only snuck through to Q2 after he ran through the gravel through Copse – the same corner where Hamilton punted him out of the race in 2021.

The crowd cheered Verstappen’s off-road excursion but the Dutchman was able to recover back to the track before hauling his Red Bull safely up the order.

However, he was a distant 0.384 sec behind Russell in the end. Oscar Piastri finished fifth for McLaren with Nico Hulkenberg a surprise sixth for Haas.

Despite signing a two-year extension to stay at Red Bull just over a month ago, Sergio Perez’s future is in doubt once again following a poor run which has seen him score just 15 points in his last five appearances.

And Perez will start only 19th after he crashed out of Q1. Perez had just switched from the intermediates to dry rubber when he ran wide at Copse before hitting the damp asphalt and spinning into the gravel.

“Can they move me forward?” said Perez over the radio. “All I need is to be pushed back. There is tarmac over there.”

However, Perez’s race engineer Hugh Bird informed the Mexican that help from the marshals would see him disqualified. Perez was out, leaving team principal Christian Horner shaking his head on the Red Bull pit wall.

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