Max on second row in fourth place in qualifying England: 'Satisfied'

Published on 13 July 2019 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen will start the British Grand Prix from the second row on the grid. In the final phase of the qualifying on Silverstone the Dutchman set a 1:25.276, which put him in fourth place. The gap to Valtteri Bottas, on pole, was only 0.183 seconds. Lewis Hamilton (P2) and Charles Leclerc (P3) were able to improve in their last runs, but with less than a tenth still came short.

Afterwards Max indicates to be satisfied, while that was not the case before qualifying: “Seeing over the whole weekend, I did not have a good balance in the car. Before qualifying we were able to make some changes, which made the car feel a lot better. To be so close to pole, is not at all bad.”

The session did not go completely without issues for the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver: “I had a lot of turbolag, which caused the car not to accelerate straight from a corner. The engine had a bit of a delay which cost me a bit of lap time. The car felt good, so that makes me happy.”

What are the prospects for tomorrow? “I think it is good. The set-up we have now, I expect is good for the race too, so I am happy with that. Normally we are better in the race.” Will Max be able to spoil the party for the Mercedes? “I will try”, concludes Verstappen.

At the start of the first qualifying session it is cloudy, as it was during the third free practice. Straight away many of the drivers come out on track. After five minutes we also see Max Verstappen on the circuit. The Dutchman has soft tyres on his RB15 and sets a 1:26.095 during his first timed lap, putting him in third position. Verstappen then drops a bit but gets back in third position when he improves his time by almost four tenths. Noticeable is that both Ferraris are the only ones on the harder medium tyres. Nevertheless they seem to be able to keep up the pace.

When the lights go red on Silverstone for the end of Q1, it is Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat, Lance Stroll, George Russell and Robert Kubica who come short and form the first group of dropouts. Lewis Hamilton finishes the first qualifying session as fastest, while the margin to the drivers behind him is very small.

At the start of Q2 all drivers, except for Sebastian Vettel, come out on track straight away. Lewis Hamilton (1:25.840) and Valtteri Bottas (1:25.888) set the first time. Max Verstappen sets a 1:26.088 not much later, putting him in fifth position. Like more often the three top teams set their times on the medium tyres. Vettel is the only exception, as he completed his first run on the red soft tyre. Max improves during a new attempt to 1:25.848 and pases his teammate into P4.

Closer to the end of the session everyone comes out again for a new timed lap. Except for Lewis Hamilton, everyone is on the soft tyre compound. Both Ferraris improve their time, thereby starting the race tomorrow also on those tyres. The Red Bulls and Mercedes did not complete their laps and will start on the harder mediums. Dropouts after the second qualifying session are Antonio Giovinazzi, Kimi Räikkönen, Carlos Sainz, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Pérez.

After a short moment of silence, the lights on the end of the pitlane go on green, this time for the third and final part of qualifying. Lewis Hamilton opens with a 1:25.345, but this time is quickly improved upon by teammate Valtteri Bottas, who sets a 1:25.093. Vertappen joins in P3 with a 1:25.483. The top six is now formed by Bottas (1:25.093), Hamilton (+0.252), Verstappen (+0.390), Leclerc (+0.523), Gasly (+0.690) and Vettel (+0.694).

When the last seconds are ticking away and the drivers go for one last lap, fails Valtteri Bottas to improve his time. Lewis Hamilton does improve, but falls 0.006 seconds short. Charles Leclerc keeps the gap to the silver arrows within less than a tenth and takes P3. Max sets a 1:25.276 and ends in P4. A fine result after such a hard Friday. Pierre Gasly (+0.497) and Sebastian Vettel (+0.694) end respectively in P5 and P6. Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, Alexander Albon and Nico Hülkenberg complete the top ten.

British GP contest: win a luxurious Max Verstappen beach towel with MV gymbag

Results qualifying Great Britain:

1Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:25.7501:25.6721:25.093
2Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:25.5131:25.8401:25.099
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:25.5331:25.5461:25.172
4Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:25.7001:25.8481:25.276
5Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:26.2731:26.0381:25.590
6Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:25.8981:26.0231:25.787
7Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:26.4281:26.2831:26.182
8Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:26.0791:26.3851:26.224
9Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:26.4821:26.4031:26.345
10Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:26.5681:26.3971:26.386
11Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:26.4491:26.519
12Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:26.5581:26.546
13Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:26.2031:26.578
14Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:26.3471:26.757
15Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:26.6491:26.928
16Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:26.662
17Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:26.721
18Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:26.762
19George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:27.789
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:28.257