Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2021

2021 British Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying starting grid

2021 British Grand Prix

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Row 11. Lewis Hamilton 1’26.134
2. Max Verstappen 1’26.209
Red Bull
Row 23. Valtteri Bottas 1’26.328
4. Charles Leclerc 1’26.828
Row 35. Sergio Perez 1’26.844
Red Bull
6. Lando Norris 1’26.897
Row 47. Daniel Ricciardo 1’26.899
8. George Russell 1’26.971
Row 59. Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’27.007
10. Sebastian Vettel 1’27.179
Aston Martin
Row 611. Fernando Alonso 1’27.245
12. Pierre Gasly 1’27.273
Row 713. Esteban Ocon 1’27.340
14. Antonio Giovinazzi 1’27.617
Alfa Romeo
Row 815. Lance Stroll 1’27.665
Aston Martin
16. Yuki Tsunoda 1’28.043
Row 917. Kimi Raikkonen 1’28.062
Alfa Romeo
18. Nicholas Latifi 1’28.254
Row 1019. Mick Schumacher 1’28.738
20. Nikita Mazepin 1’29.051

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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56 comments on “2021 British Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying starting grid”

  1. Bottas 0.5s ahead of Perez.
    Silverstone is truly a Merc track still.

    Good job by both Lewis and Max today. And George of course!

    1. George put that Williams where it has no right being…. I genuinely feel his ability will be the reason he will not be in in the Mercedes next to Hamilton next season.

      1. Latifi makes it really hard to judge how good or bad that Williams really is, though. As far as we know, it could be as good as the Astons or the Renaults.

        1. Racing Martin has the same floor/brake duct issues as Mercedes but they are not Mercedes in their ability to adapt and started already a second back, so they are not the best benchmark. Renault have gone in a weird design direction so who knows if they are just slow. Haas is just marking time and Alfa is not showing signs of life. But it’s credible to say that the current Williams, high rake car with Mercedes under the hood/bonnet, may be a solid car. Latifi is a question mark. He was not garbage in lower formulas, but no one has ever even heard of him being considered for a step up the ranks in F1. Clearly no one rates him in the paddock. Russell otherwise raced against Kubica.

      2. Well, it seems, at least according to reports, it is purely Mercedes decision and not Hamilton´s so we will see.

    2. Bottas is a fast race car driver. Bottas is fast so it’s the car; Russell is fast so it’s the driver? I would look at this and see Bottas is .2s off Hamilton on a long track. He earned his pay today and did as much to keep his seat as Russell did to claim it.

      1. Mind you that Lewis goofed up his final lap, while being faster till that error. So would have been 1.25:9 .

        Merc still superior on this track. Its last stronghold?

        Last year Lewis qualified a full second faster than the first non-Merc. At least that gap came down.

        1. The reason “he goofed” is because he took it beyond the limit. If he hadn’t, he would have been slower at that point and you cannot authoritatively say so he would have dipped below 1.26.0.

        2. I think they benefited from the cooler temperatures. They could very well remain ahead on Sunday but it’s hard to say for now. Well probably have a good idea after tomorrow. Personally I’m hoping the top two five take each other out t1 and we get Italy 2020 pt 2 come sunday

        3. The problem is merc was faster with both drivers, so it’s not like a fast driver can beat a fast merc driver on a track like this, because bottas is pretty close to hamilton too, perez is nowhere.

    3. Perez is in his tenth race for Red Bull and hasn’t been considered a great qualifier in his career. Bottas is in his sixth season with Mercedes and qualifying is his strong point.

      To me that is a very poor metric to work out which car is better!

      1. Then we disagree on the quality of this metric . No worries. I find 0.5s a huge difference. And I don’t consider Bottas to be big qualifier either.

    4. Well, if we take the times as such, you should take Perez actual fastest lap in account a bit too though, the one that was deleted because of track limits.

      And yeah, Bottas IS a very good qualifier, how else would he be able to get so close to Hamilton so often, sometimes even beating him?

      1. Indeed, bottas is a good qualifier, perez isn’t, so you can’t straight up say merc is better than red bull by x tenths because bottas beats perez by that amount, still they seem to have a significant edge, and normally in the race they’re better than red bull, when compared to quali on the same track.

  2. What a lap by Max. The championship is still very much on.

    1. And the lap by Lewis?

      1. Obviously that lap was pathetic from Hamilton because he’s in the best car. The Redbull is actually slower than the Haas and it’s the mighty Verstappen that drags it to the front, such a hero.

        1. You should really start watching F1 before commenting. Hamilton made a massive mistake, and was saved by track temp change and a Red Bull setup error.

      2. Lewis actually made a big error in what would have been a faster lap. So you can’t say Lewis did a perfect job.
        Still a good job though! But Merc still superior on this track, albeit by a much smaller margin .

        1. Just like Max in the previous session. Either way, a mighty qualifying for Lewis / Max.

      3. I only caught about last 8 minutes of Q3, so I might be misinformed. But it looked like Max got a better lap together, perhaps in a similar vein of what Lewis was doing in his last attempt before the mistake. He was six tenths up on Perez’s deleted lap. I appreciate both drivers in the title fight, this was just my honest impression from the little I saw.

  3. That was a brilliant qualifying session.

    F1 at it’s best.

    Now for a pointless 17 lap pootle around Silverstone tomorrow which will show why we should stick with this format.

    1. I wonder if you might ever see a team short fuel one car for the sprint race, and send it out as a “rabbit” to get some glory in the lead for 8-10 laps and then retire because the “saw something in the data.” I mean if you are starting in the back or there abouts, it doesn’t matter

  4. Max might be in trouble, given setups are locked for the remaining event.
    Only 0.002 between Mclaren drivers.

    1. wait if the set up is locked whats the point of practice 2?

      1. Not sure there is! I think they’re expecting most teams to do little to no running

      2. @f1fan-2000 With cars now in parc ferme the only changes they can make is essentially just wing levels & tyre pressures.

        They retained an FP2 to allow teams to get some long runs in on the tyres & prep for the race. I think it’s also so Pirelli have some long run data to look at before finalising minimum pressures as well as looking for signs of any potential issues (Which could see them increase said minimum pressures).

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          16th July 2021, 19:23

          @stefmeister As I said yesterday, they are allowed to change the specification of parts after Quali for FP2 and SQ, as long as they are if a specification that has already been used this season. Parc Ferme is a little less restrictive this weekend

      3. @f1fan-2000 Saturday practice and QLF the other way round, i.e., days switched would’ve been better.

    2. @jerejj. The big difference between practice and quali would be track temperature would have dropped quite considerably. That could have benefited the Mercedes, so we will see what happens in the next couple of days.

  5. Shame we’re not going straight to the race actually, this qualifying would be a great lead up to it. Just hope nothing crazy happens tomorrow that leads to a less representative grid for the race.

    1. I feel like the Hamilton v. Verstappen battle on more equal terms should continue also. I also see Toto sidling up to Bottas tonight and letting him know his job is to get head of Verstappen tomorrow, not to just cruise around in third, and by any means necessary. Verstappen will have to be wary of Bottas driving like his job depends on it and just sending it down the inside with the slightest opportunity.

      1. I think this type of tactical thinking @dmw is the only thing that makes the QS interesting to me. Do you have people blocking deliberately or letting their faster team mates through intentionally to get a better grid etc. Seems to be a lot of scope for shenanigans. Only if they had an unlimited budget it may be like watching BTCC.

  6. People give those top two drivers stick here but the truth is we’re lucky to have both of them racing at this point in time. What talents!

    1. +1. I think we’re in a real golden age at the moment, the top 9 or 10 drivers are probably the strongest it’s ever been

      1. True, lb, really strong grid overall.

  7. I’m glad Mercedes are back in the fight with Red Bull, super close! I’m hoping we can resume the thrilling close racing of the first few races rather than what we’ve had for the last couple! The championship is back on!

    Also George Russell – super special! Tenth and a half off 4th place!

  8. I struggled to really get as invested or excited about that as I normally would a qualifying session because knowing that isn’t setting the grid for the GP & we have this extra step in-between with the sprint (Race) tomorrow just sort of made it feel less important somehow.

    A part of the thing that makes qualifying so exciting to me is the jeopardy of it, How a mistake can cost you time which costs you grid position for the GP. Since this isn’t setting the grid for the GP & we have that extra qualifying race tomorrow it just took away some of that jeopardy for me which therefore took away some of the usual excitement.

    I also think it’s silly how we can’t say that Lewis just took pole & are in a situation where everyone on Sky & elsewhere are having to try & come up with different ways to say it. Lewis has won qualifying, He’s 1st for the sprint & the other dozen i’ve heard/read today. It’s just seems silly to me & it’s one of the elements to this sprint format I simply do not like.

  9. Can anyone “questimate” the value of tow when cars are running this much apart (there must have been 5-6 second gap between Bottas and Hamilton)?

    1. According to the pundits 0.1s.

  10. Special mention too to Charles. 0.2s ahead of Sainz is pretty decent.
    Ahead of Perez. Now RB will cherish there is a sprint race, otherwise Perez would be stuck behind Charles…

  11. I’ve never seen a weekend where a team went from being almost .8s up in the “final” practice to losing pole. That was extremely interesting. Clearly Hamilton was just wringing out the car though. Even after a skid in Luffield he was still going like stink and would have improved his time if he didn’t vin diesel it through the last chicane looking for another tenth. Maybe Verstappen’s challenge has pepped him up a bit.

    Also great for Ricciardo to be right up there with Norris. Although it seemed that it’s maybe more of Norris maybe losing the set up direction and falling back to Ricciardo’s normal position than Ricciardo stepping up. The team have the data and will know but it’s got to be good for his mindset.

  12. Weren’t Liberty, Sky & all the gimmick race lovers insisting that this weekend format with so little practice time was going to catch everyone out, create surprises and really mix up the grid.

    Just proves that even with less running if teams go in knowing they have less running it won’t mix things up.


    1. But of course the Sky overlords are already praising this Friday format as been a massive success.

      #GetF1AwayFromSky!!! #LibertyOut! #OutWithTheGimmicks! #NoToIndycar+!

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      16th July 2021, 19:24

      We haven’t even seen the major new part of the format in action yet…

    3. #BakuIsNeverTheSameAgain

  13. It’s just a shame that we just got to see a fantastic pole position lap which we can’t call a pole lap and which won’t be in the record books.

    This entire gimmick race format is a complete joke.


    1. Let’s wait and see how the entire weekend plays out first. But I do agree that Lewis should get the pole position after tonight.

    2. #ItWasSeriouslyPolePosition #WaitForIndyCarsResponseToBeCalledCARTX

  14. Franks 'n Beans
    16th July 2021, 19:42

    … you can’t choreograph competition. Attempts at race choreography reduces it, to entertainment. Vehicle dynamics remotely administrated and micromanaged via telemetry, as of this writing, motor sport’s number 1 problem: race-rigging. F1 is sorely in need of a regression, back to its roots, as a proving ground advancing automotive technology. This world has no need or want, for an opened-wheeled NASCAR (e.g., Indycar) –

  15. I think we should just call it Not Yet Pole Position.
    It is so hard to get excited about this Sprint format.

    1. How about Pole Superposition (for the quantum theorists out there).

      1. All I see is more entanglement.

        1. Schrodinger’s Pole…

  16. Leclerc is a very special qualifier.

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