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British Grand Prix qualifying: Lewis Hamilton equals Jim Clark's record in Silverstone drizzle

British GP qualifying: Hamilton equals Clark's record in Silverstone drizzle

15/07/2017 at 21:36Updated 15/07/2017 at 22:18

Lewis Hamilton scored his fifth pole position at the British Grand Prix as the rain mixed things up at Silverstone. Carrie Dunn glances back at qualifying...

Q1

It takes a lot to wipe the smile from the face of the eternally cheery Daniel Ricciardo. Ending up stranded on Silverstone's Turn 2 as he attempted to record a lap time goes some way towards doing that.

He was already expecting a five-place grid penalty due to having his gearbox replaced - now he'll start from the back of the pack.

Having an even worse weekend is Fernando Alonso of McLaren, who knew before Saturday practice that he'd be stuck with a frankly ludicrous 30-place penalty for a new engine plus a new battery.

Mind, the rest of the field weren't too happy with the red flag from Ricciardo's abandoned Red Bull interfering with their session.

Changeable weather affected the afternoon as well, with some fine misty rain as the session started, meaning some quick thinking about tyre choices.

And then it got wetter - and even wetter as the cars got back out on track.

It didn't make much difference to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, exchanging the quickest times - that was until Alonso switched his tyres and promptly grabbed himself P1. What an odd start to the day.

OUT: Lance Stroll (Williams), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber), Marcus Ericsson (Sauber), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

Q2

Everyone headed out on slicks - and Nico Hulkenberg adjusted to the conditions quickest in his Renault. It seemed like his team were maybe taken slightly aback by his sheer pace.

The unpredictable weather was giving more of the mid-pack drivers chance to shine in terms of speed and tactics - and then when it dried up the Mercedes of Hamilton put on a show.

Meanwhile, there was a bit of needle as Sebastian Vettel got annoyed with Sergio Perez for getting in his way - one might have expected the Ferrari driver to have learnt from the recent dramas to calm his temper a bit.

And Alonso didn't make it into Q3 - but his McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne did, outqualifying his veteran colleague for the first time ever.

OUT: Jolyon Palmer (Renault), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Fernando Alonso (McLaren), Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Felipe Massa (Williams)

Q3

Hamilton took the field to pieces, partially thanks to Bottas skewing wide on his quick lap - he secured his 67th career pole by going half a second quicker than Kimi Raikkonen, the man alongside him on the front row.

In doing so, he also matched Jim Clark's record of five pole positions at the British Grand Prix.

There were muted celebrations, though, knowing that the Mercedes was under investigation for a potential blocking issue with Haas's Romain Grosjean.

GRID: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Nico Hulkenberg (Renault), Sergio Perez (Force India), Esteban Ocon (Force India), Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren), Romain Grosjean (Haas)

QUALIFYING IN SUMMARY

A bit soggy. Similar conditions tomorrow should promise an intriguing race. And what about those two brilliant drivers at the back of the field? Ricciardo and Alonso working their way through traffic almost guarantees fun.

BIGGEST SHOCK

The Williamses have really been lacking in the past couple of races - and they're not looking much better here.

ONE TO WATCH

Keep an eye on Romain Grosjean. He's been driving well lately and should grab a bundle of points tomorrow.

PREDICTED PODIUM

Hamilton - Vettel - Bottas

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