While Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the traditional qualifying hour, Max Verstappen secured pole position in the first ever F1 Sprint Qualifying. Here are the statistics from qualifying at the 2021 British Grand Prix.
For the first time since the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix, the qualifying hour for the 2021 British Grand Prix took place on Friday. The session set the grid for Saturday’s first ever Sprint Qualifying.
HAMILTON SEALS POLE FOR THE FIRST F1 SPRINT
Lewis Hamilton secured the fastest time in Friday’s qualifying session. It was the eighth time that he has set the fastest lap time in qualifying at Silverstone – which would have tied the record for most pole positions at a single circuit, if not for Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying session.
This was the tenth Silverstone race in a row at which Mercedes have set the fastest qualifying lap time.
Hamilton extended the record of most Q3 appearances at Silverstone to fifteen.
FRIDAY’S TOP 10
Second fastest Max Verstappen made this the first time that Red Bull have set one of the two fastest times in qualifying at Silverstone since the 2014 British Grand Prix.
Having missed last year’s two races at Silverstone, Sergio Perez reached Q3 at the British Grand Prix for the first time since 2017.
Daniel Ricciardo was out-qualified by his team-mate at Silverstone for the first time since 2018.
For only the second time in the last eight Silverstone races, both McLaren drivers appeared in Q3.
Both Ferrari drivers reached Q3 for the first time since the French Grand Prix – as did both McLaren drivers. Ferrari became the first team to surpass 500 Q3 appearances since the current qualifying system was introduced in 2006.
Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc both maintained their 100% Q3 appearance rate at Silverstone. Those two drivers are yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate at Silverstone, as are Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell and Mick Schumacher.
George Russell reached Q3 for a second consecutive race, recording his first Q3 appearance at his home race. This was the first time since the final two races of the 2017 season that a Williams driver reached Q3 at two consecutive events.
Russell is the first Williams driver to reach Q3 at Silverstone since Valtteri Bottas, who qualified seventh with the team in 2016.
OUT IN Q2
Lance Stroll was eliminated in Q2 at Silverstone for the first time. Having reached Q3 at the circuit in both of the 2020 races at the track, the Canadian was eliminated in Q1 on every prior appearance at the venue.
Both Alpine drivers were eliminated in Q2. It was the Enstone team’s first double Q2 elimination since the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the first time that the team has not appeared in Q3 at Silverstone since 2018.
Pierre Gasly was eliminated in Q2, making this the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix that neither AlphaTauri driver has appeared in the top ten shootout.
For a fifth race in a row, one Alfa Romeo driver was eliminated in Q1 while the other reached Q2.
OUT IN Q1
Yuki Tsunoda was eliminated in Q1, recording the Red Bull junior team’s 150th Q1 exit.
For a second race weekend in a row, Nicholas Latifi was eliminated in Q1 while his team-mate reached Q3. The last Williams driver to be eliminated in Q1 while their team-mate reached Q3 at two consecutive race weekends was Kazuki Nakajima, at the 2009 European and Belgian Grands Prix.
For a second time at Silverstone, both Haas cars were eliminated in Q1. Both Haas drivers were also eliminated in Q1 at the 2020 British Grand Prix.
VERSTAPPEN WINS THE INAUGURAL F1 SPRINT
Formula 1 held its first ever Sprint Qualifying event on Saturday at the 2021 British Grand Prix. It was won by Max Verstappen, who secured pole position for the Grand Prix. This was the eighth pole position of Verstappen’s career and Red Bull’s first pole at Silverstone since the 2011 British Grand Prix.
With sixth place, Daniel Ricciardo equalled his best qualifying result of the season so far, as did Sebastian Vettel in eighth place. Lando Norris qualified in fifth place, making this the first time that both McLaren drivers have qualified in the top six at Silverstone since the 2014 British Grand Prix.
Both Alpine drivers made advances up the order in Sprint Qualifying, with both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon reaching the top ten.
AlphaTauri were the only team to see both drivers maintain the same qualifying positions which they had earned on Friday. Pierre Gasly equalled his worst qualifying result of the season with twelfth place. He also qualified twelfth at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen finished Sprint Qualifying in 13th place; his best qualifying result of the year so far.
While one Red Bull driver took pole, the other was the only retiree in the first F1 Sprint. Sergio Perez qualified last for the British Grand Prix as a result of his retirement, marking his first back row retirement since the 2019 United States Grand Prix. His only worse qualifying performance was at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, where he failed to set a time.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.