British Grand Prix LIVE: Hamilton starts ahead of Vettel and Bottas
Lewis Hamilton starts on pole for the British Grand Prix – the fourth time in five years he has topped qualifying at Silverstone.
The Mercedes driver is 20 points behind Sebastian Vettel in the Drivers’ Championship and will have TWO Ferraris breathing down his exhaust pipe when the lights go out.
Kimi Raikkonen starts second on the grid, with Vettel third.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who won the Austrian Grand Prix last week, is ninth after suffering a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
Follow all the British Grand Prix action LIVE with Express Sport below…
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British Grand Prix LIVE updates
13:05: LIGHTS OUT
Oh dear. Jolyon Palmer on his home Grand Prix has been told to turn the car off. He doesn’t even get around one warm-up lap.
Meanwhile, Hamilton gets away clear, with Raikkonen and Vettel behind him. But Verstappen sneaks ahead of Vettel in third!
Bottas gets into seventh – that’s a good start.
13:00: The drivers go out on their warm-up lap, parading in front of a packed Silverstone here today.
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It’s fair to say this is a home race for Hamilton, who leads the procession.
Meanwhile, the forecasters have warned showed could sprinkle down on Silverstone later in the race.
12:53: Jenson Button is not one of the Brits backing Lewis Hamilton today.
The former world champion says he’d prefer a good race over a Mercedes win.
“Hopefully the Ferraris will be a challenge for Lewis,” he told Sky Sports.
“It will be an exciting race.”
12:50: The British national anthem is belted out around Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton seems to be mumbling the words. I bet the drivers love this parade 10 minutes before getting in the car. Nothing like losing focus.
Anyway, the skies remain cloudy her but the track is dry. Hamilton will be hoping for a swift start off the grid.
The drivers now head towards their cars…
12:25: It looks like we might just avoid rain today at Silverstone, but the clouds are overhead.
Forecasts of rain may not come to pass, although the teams will no doubt be monitoring the weather patterns this afternoon.
It’s certainly not a blistering day, with a high of 21c predicted.
That should lead to a nice, clean race. Right?
Lewis Hamilton was in good spirits waving to the crowd this morning
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 16, 2017
The Met Office is forecasting a grey day over Silverstone
12:12: Here’s what Lewis Hamilton had to say after topping qualifying on Saturday.
“I grew up watching TV and I remember seeing Nigel Mansell with the support and thinking, ‘Wow, I wonder what that feels like having all that focus and attention and support pointing into me’.
“I’ve been really privileged over the past 10 years to come here and receive that love. It really is so energising. Nigel mentioned it years ago. He said it gives you a second, maybe it’s half a second, but it definitely feels like it gives you something.
“You carry that energy and I think that applies to life in general. If you are feeling positive on a day, your day just goes a lot better.”
12:00: Let’s take a look at this iconic Silverstone track then.
The 3.6mile circuit is one of the most recognisable in F1. Like the Grand National, its corners have become famous over the years, with Stowe, Becketts and Copse household names in motorsport and beyond.
Turn 1 will of course be a major battle ground on the first lap, with Hamilton desperate to keep the two Ferrari’s well behind him.
Hamilton is susceptible to the odd poor start off the grid and any lost time will be gobbled up by Raikkonen and Vettel.
It’s probably safe to say that by the time the pack weave down to Brooklands on Turn 6, the yellow flag will be out. This is a short initial sprint off the line so the cars will bunch up and contact is likely.
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his pole position yesterday
11:30: Toto Wolff has dismissed Christian Horner’s claims that Mercedes are interested in signing Sebastian Vettel to their team as nothing but tittle tattle.
Christian has been planting a little bit of mischief everywhere between McLaren and Mercedes, between Ferrari and Mercedes,” Wolff said.
“We are having a driver strategy that's very clear: we love our two drivers, Lewis and Valtteri.
“That functions really well and if it was down to me alone I would like to continue with this for many more years. This is clearly our main priority.”
11:00: Lewis Hamilton was excellent in qualifying, smashing his final lap to keep well ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
The three-time world champion won’t have the support of team-mate Valtteri Bottas, however, from the start.
Hamilton has history on his side when it comes to Silverstone. He has won this race in each of the past three seasons.
The home crowd will be right behind their man for today’s race, which starts at 1pm BST.