Valtteri Bottas surprised the crowd at Silverstone by beating Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton by a tiny margin on Saturday, denying his Mercedes team-mate a fifth successive pole position at the British Grand Prix.
The Finn was 0.006 seconds faster than the fifth time world champion and both “silver dates” were once again in the front row after a cloudy afternoon on the English circuit.
Young Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc will share the second row alongside Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who won the previous race in Australia after fighting for victory in the final few laps.
The pole, scored in 1 minute and 25.093 seconds, was Bottas’ fourth in this season’s 10 races – above any other driver’s mark – and the tenth of his Formula One career.
“In the end, I wasn’t good enough,” said Hamilton, who was the fastest in the first round of qualifying. “We worked really hard during the session, but we were a little short,” he said.
Bottas is 31 points behind Hamilton in the overall competition and needs to close that gap, although he is aware that his team-mate has a habit of gaining momentum just after the August F1 break.