Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean earned strong starting positions for Sunday’s British Grand Prix by advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying Saturday at Silverstone Circuit. The duo qualified a best-of-the-rest seventh and eighth, respectively, behind the powerhouse teams of Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull. It was the third straight race where Haas F1 Team advanced both its drivers into Q3, as well as the fifth time this season and the sixth time in the American squad’s three-year history.
Grosjean set the ninth-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:28.086 around the 5.891-kilometer (3.66-mile), 18-turn track. Magnussen was right behind his teammate in 10th with a lap of 1:28.143. Just .057 of a second separated the two pilots, with both handily inside the top-15 cutoff to advance into Q2.
In Q2, Grosjean earned the seventh-fastest time with a lap of 1:27.522 and Magnussen was only .208 of a second behind in eighth with a lap of 1:27.730, allowing each driver to eclipse the top-10 cutoff and join Q3.
The heavy hitters of Formula One – four-time and reigning champion Mercedes, 16-time champion Scuderia Ferrari and four-time champion Red Bull – were all represented in Q3 and predictably locked out the top-six positions. Nonetheless, Haas F1 Team held its own amongst these giants. Magnussen topped the midfield by qualifying seventh with a lap of 1:27.244, and Grosjean was hot on his heels, just .211 of a second behind in eighth with a lap of 1:27.455.
Both Magnussen and Grosjean ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire throughout qualifying.
Taking the pole for the British Grand Prix was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. His fast lap of 1:25.892 set a new track qualifying record at Silverstone and was .044 of a second better than runner-up Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari. The two are locked in a tight championship battle, with Vettel leading Hamilton by a single point.
It was Hamilton’s 76th career Formula One pole, his fourth this season and his fourth straight at Silverstone. It was also Hamilton’s record-breaking sixth pole in the British Grand Prix, besting the mark he previously shared with Jim Clark and Alain Prost.
Before Magnussen, Grosjean and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track. Both Magnussen and Grosjean began the session with an installation lap on the Ice Blue hard tire before switching to the Yellow soft compound.
Magnussen ran 16 laps and set the eighth-fastest time with a 1:28.418 on his 11th tour. Grosjean tallied 18 laps and earned his best time on his 17th lap – a 1:28.554 that slotted him right behind in ninth.
FP3 was a prelude to qualifying, with Hamilton setting the fastest time with a lap of 1:26.722 that was .093 of a second better than next best Kimi Räikkönen, Vettel’s teammate at Scuderia Ferrari.