F1: Valtteri Bottas takes pole as Mercedes lock out front row

Updated: Jul 14, 2019, 07:36 IST | Abhishek Takle

The Finn set a time of one minute, 25.093 seconds on a cold and grey afternoon at Silverstone, edging Hamilton, who has started his home race from the front for the last four years

F1: Valtteri Bottas takes pole as Mercedes lock out front row
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas

Silverstone: Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time in a hard-fought qualifying session for today’s British Grand Prix, denying Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton a fifth successive pole on home soil by the narrowest of margins.

The Finn set a time of one minute, 25.093 seconds on a cold and grey afternoon at Silverstone, edging Hamilton, who has started his home race from the front for the last four years and was gunning for a seventh overall British pole yesterday, by just 0.006 seconds.

Charles Leclerc, who had looked favourite for pole for much of the qualifying hour, was third for Ferrari and was also a mere 0.079 seconds off Bottas’ pace. “It was really good,” said Bottas, 29, after blitzing to his 10th career pole. “It reminds me of why we do this. It’s been really close with Lewis all weekend, and I’m really happy to get a good lap in and get pole,” added Bottas, who had also gone fastest in Friday’s practice sessions and, with a haul of four poles, has now started more races from the front than any other driver this season.

Mercedes had appeared to be on the back foot heading into qualifying with Leclerc leading a Ferrari one-two in the final practice session.The Monegasque, on pole at the last race in Austria, was only 0.020 seconds slower than Hamilton’s benchmark pace in the opening phase of qualifying.

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